Record soy exports expose critical flaw in land use theory

Biofuels & Climate Change

As has been pointed out multiple times on this blog, there are serious flaws in the theory of indirect land use change (ILUC) and the models used to predict it. But that’s not where the flaws end. There are also significant errors in data. As National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe said in a recent interview regarding ILUC theory: The elements that are not predictions, that are known, quantifiable data are actually wrong.

Well, another piece of known, quantifiable data came out today and again it exposed the flaw of ILUC theory. As you can read from a Growth Energy policy briefing (pdf), the theory of ILUC is essentially that corn for ethanol displaces other crops, namely soy, and therefore farmers in Brazil cut down the rainforest to grow soy and fill the demand.

The problem is that the theory does not square with known, quantifiable data. The U.S. Soybean Export Council released export data for U.S. soy export marketing year 2008-2009, which ended September 30, 2009. It was the third record year of soybean exports in a row as exports increased 11% from the previous marketing year. These record exports come at the same time that ethanol production is rapidly increasing. If the theory of ILUC was correct, an increase in corn used for ethanol should result in a decrease of soy exports, not an increase. How much more data contradicting the theory do we need before we put this theory out to pasture?

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46 Responses to Record soy exports expose critical flaw in land use theory

  1. anonymous says:

    Soy as a feedstock was a flawed plan from the start. You cannot grow enough soy in the US for biodiesel without affecting the food channel. It looks like a battle between Big Oil and the Farmers is over and Big Oil has won.

  2. “…If the theory of ILUC was correct, an increase in corn used for ethanol should result in a decrease of soy exports…”

    The critical flaw in your argument is that soybeans in the Amazon were just used as an example of how crop displacement happens. It won’t always be soybeans in the Amazon.

    Every agricultural economist knows that price signals are how farmers decide what to plant and how much to plant. If ethanol subsidies double the price of corn, as they have, farmers all over the world will have a tendency to plant more of it in an attempt to capitalize on that price.

    If other crops (other than soybeans in this case) are displaced by corn (we planted a million more acres of corn this year than last) you can expect a price signal to be generated to farmers wherever they are for whatever crops have been displaced.

    Common sense says you can’t suddenly divert 25 thousand square miles of the most productive farmland on the planet to our gas tanks and not see an impact across the globe. Somebody somewhere is planting more land where a carbon sink used to be.

    Commons sense says that food-based biofuels will pour gas in the fire as we continue to consume the biosphere for agriculture. It’s a new source of pressure in addition to food and fiber.

    The entire argument is somewhat myopic in light of a recent article in Nature:

    “..Now, largely because of a rapidly growing reliance on fossil fuels and industrialized forms of agriculture, human activities have reached a level that could damage the systems that keep Earth in the desirable Holocene state…”

    Source: http://biodiversivist.blogspot.com/2009/10/transgressing-identified-and-quantified.html

    Note also that the recently released study commissioned by the WWF has no plans for soy or corn ethanol in its plan to avert global warming.

    “…no deforestation, no competition for land between bioenergy production and food production and protection of biodiversity and nature conservation.”

    “..Bioenergy is potentially CO2 neutral. However, the expansion of palm oil and tropical crops, such as sugarcane, for biofuel production could become a significant driver of deforestation. Bioenergy developments must therefore be appropriately regulated to prevent further deforestation…”

    Source: http://biodiversivist.blogspot.com/2009/10/wwf-study-puts-global-warming-into.html

  3. nathanschock says:

    Biodiversivist, a few points in response:

    “Every agricultural economist knows that price signals are how farmers decide what to plant and how much to plant. If ethanol subsidies double the price of corn, as they have, farmers all over the world will have a tendency to plant more of it in an attempt to capitalize on that price.”

    If ethanol “subsidies” doubled the price of corn, why did the price of corn decline by 50% while ethanol production continued to increase?

    “we planted a million more acres of corn this year than last”

    It’s actually about 400,000 acres more planted this year than last year, but why stop at last year? Why not compare to two years ago when we planted 6.2 million MORE acres than this year?

    “Common sense says you can’t suddenly divert 25 thousand square miles of the most productive farmland on the planet to our gas tanks and not see an impact across the globe. Somebody somewhere is planting more land where a carbon sink used to be.”

    Diverting from what? The carryout? If we’re using less land and still exporting the same amount of crops, what are we diverting from?

    “Bioenergy is potentially CO2 neutral. However, the expansion of palm oil and tropical crops, such as sugarcane, for biofuel production could become a significant driver of deforestation.”

    Both of those are talking about DIRECT land use change. That should count on their LCA and I don’t argue that point. No one does. My point is that regulators want to penalize biofuels with the emissions caused by other people when they can’t show causation.

    Your arguments show the flaws inherent in using indirect effects in life-cycle-analysis. Because it’s unmeasurable, you slide back and forth between economic and land arguments, but ultimately neither of them support your point.

  4. anonymous says:

    You don’t need to worry about soy as a feedstock because most of the biodiesel plants in the US are shut down or bankrupt and the ones that are still operating are only working at 20% of capacity.
    Biodiesel plants can’t make any money even with the tax credits.

  5. Nathanschock said:

    “..If ethanol “subsidies” doubled the price of corn, why did the price of corn decline by 50% while ethanol production continued to increase?..”

    Start by looking at the following graph of corn prices. Note that the year that they began to climb was the same year we began ramping up ethanol production:

    http://home.comcast.net/~russ676/Graphics/img30.gif

    I don’t know what 50% drop you are referring to. Commodity prices are never steady. Prices go up and down second by second. You have to look at longer-term averages. What do you think a high price for corn signifies? Are you trying to suggest the price of corn isn’t high? Virtually everyone agrees that ethanol has increased the price of corn. In fact, that has been the stated goal by the USDA all along–increase grain prices.

    Nathanschock said:

    “..It’s actually about 400,000 acres more planted this year than last year, but why stop at last year? Why not compare to two years ago when we planted 6.2 million MORE acres than this year?..”

    Our arguments are only as good as our sources. Mine said:

    “..Farmers planted 87 million corn acres in 2009, up 1 million acres from last year. This is the second-largest corn acreage in more than 60 years, behind 2007..”

    Source: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/2009/06_30_2009.asp

    Nathanschock said:

    “..Diverting from what? The carryout? If we’re using less land and still exporting the same amount of crops, what are we diverting from? ..”

    Without diverting 25 thousand square miles into gas tanks all kinds of things would be different. I’ll leave it to your imagination. Global demand for food is growing rapidly. There are going to be 3 billion more humans on this planet in the next few decades. If the U.S. exports less, or even holds steady on how much is sold on the world market, the lack of grain (verified by high grain prices) will stimulate land conversion to make up the difference.

    Nathanschock said:

    “..My point is that regulators want to penalize biofuels with the emissions caused by other people when they can’t show causation. ..”

    They have shown causation. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Try debating a creationist some time, or an ID proponent. If I walked up to a Brazilian farmer in early 2008 and asked him why he was torching the jungle and he said “I am preparing the land to plant corn. Man, they are getting over $4.00 a bushel for it!” I would have proof. But there are other ways to prove it as well, other than just using some common sense.

    Source: http://home.comcast.net/~russ676/desiremore/biofuelmyths1.htm#bookmark2

  6. nathanschock says:

    Biodiversivist, a few counter-points:

    “Commodity prices are never steady. Prices go up and down second by second.”

    In your first comment to this post, you said “ethanol subsidies double[d] the price of corn.” Are you saying that commodity prices CAN go up, but they CAN’T go down? I’m not following you.

    “Virtually everyone agrees that ethanol has increased the price of corn. In fact, that has been the stated goal by the USDA all along–increase grain prices.”

    Yes, part of the reason we got into ethanol in this country was because of historically depressed agricultural commodity prices. Ethanol is a use for surplus grain that balances supply and demand. Today, a bushel of corn sells for below what it costs the farmer to produce:

    http://www.indianagrain.com/blog/illinois-farmers-facing-losses-on-corn-beans

    If corn is selling for less than it costs to make, what does that tell you? That we’re still oversupplied. If corn is already below the cost of production, how much lower do you want it to be? I think farmers deserve to receive an honest pay for honest work.

    “Our arguments are only as good as our sources.”

    Agreed, but you also have to use up to date information from those sources. Your link is to an estimate from June and the USDA has updated it since. Go here:

    http://www.nass.usda.gov/QuickStats/indexbysubject.jsp?Text1=&site=NASS_MAIN&select=Select+a+State&Pass_name=&Pass_group=Crops+%26+Plants&Pass_subgroup=Field+Crops#top

    Highlight “Corn field” and click “Search.” You’ll see the most up to date information. Last year, farmers planted 85,982,000 acres. This year, 86,351,000 or 369,000 more. But while you’re there, look at two years ago, when 93,527,000 acres of corn were planted, or 7.1 million acres MORE than this year. To produce the 15 billion gallons of ethanol from corn called for in the RFS, we won’t need any new acres to come into production.

    “If the U.S. exports less, or even holds steady on how much is sold on the world market, the lack of grain (verified by high grain prices) will stimulate land conversion to make up the difference.”

    The U.S. is not projected to export less or hold steady. Exports are expected to continue to grow. Read the Growth Energy policy brief I linked to in my initial post.

    But we can argue about whether that’s a good thing. The system you want is continually depressed world-wide grain prices due to overproduction in the U.S. Then, the rest of the world stays poor and dependent on imports of cheap grain from the U.S. because they can’t afford to produce grain below the cost of production and we will go back to paying crop supports to our farmers.

    And you want that system because someone, somewhere might react to higher prices by converting land, which you assume to be jungle. Which brings me to your final error:

    “They have shown causation.”

    They absolutely have not shown causation. They haven’t even shown a correlation. They have predictive economic models into which they have put inaccurate data. As ethanol production has increased, deforestation of the Amazon has decreased. Common sense would tell you that if those two things were happening at the same time, they’re not related.

  7. Are you saying that commodity prices CAN go up, but they CAN’T go down?

    How did you manage to draw that conclusion?

    Your argument has shifted from corn ethanol not raising the price of corn to one supporting higher corn prices. Now, if the rest of your argument is about corn ethanol being a good deal for American corn farmers then the debate is over because it most certainly is good for them. And if you are not interested or concerned about the damage wrought to service that infinitesimally small percentage of the world population called the American farmer, well then, have a nice day.

    I mentioned the extra corn acreage planted this year in passing (in parenthesis in fact). It is not relevant to my argument, so I’m sorry you spent so much time looking up the latest estimates.

    To produce the 15 billion gallons of ethanol from corn called for in the RFS, we won’t need any new acres to come into production.

    That statement is not supported by my calculations. I just put together a spreadsheet to see if this is possible. Assuming historic 30-year trend line yield improvements, holding the percent harvested constant, and no more land planted, we won’t get anywhere near 15 billion gallons by 2015. To reach that goal we have to plant more or use a higher percentage of the crop or most likely, both. We can compare spreadsheets.

    Yes, part of the reason we got into ethanol in this country was because of historically depressed agricultural commodity prices.

    Terminology matters. A market determined commodity price might not be as high as a farmer wants it to be, and that may be depressing, but you can’t call a market determined price “depressed.” It’s a function of supply and demand, except in America, farmers are also subsidized, which does indeed tend to depress prices in other countries, but not here.

    Ethanol is a use for surplus grain that balances supply and demand.

    Again, terminology matters. Grain used for ethanol is not surplus grain, it is grain that has been used…for ethanol. Grain reserves act like shock absorbers, smoothing out the ups and downs of harvest booms and busts. Reserves balance out supply and demand, not corn ethanol. It draws down reserves. All farmers through history have striven to create reserves. The very definition of crop failure is to fail to produce a marketable surplus.

    Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/crop+failure

    In seven of the past nine years human beings have consumed more grain than has been grown. Where would we be without grain reserves? Humanity is presently on average consuming more grain than it grows (source USDA):

    http://home.comcast.net/~russ676/desiremore/grainreservves.jpg

    Today, a bushel of corn sells for below what it costs the farmer to produce

    Now they must know how the poultry and livestock farmers feel after having their main cost (feed) jacked through the roof by corn farmers and their ethanol, who in 2005 got about $2.00 a bushel and this year expect to get $3.25 (a 62% increase and they are still losing money).

    An American farmer’s instinct would be to demand further subsidies, either direct or indirect. You hear that violin? It’s not for you. It’s for the billion hungry. Get in the complaint line behind every other small business owner in the country.

    Source: http://biodiversivist.blogspot.com/2009/10/myth-of-american-farmer.html

    The U.S. is not projected to export less or hold steady. Exports are expected to continue to grow

    Yes, I know. The last three years saw some of the highest corn acreage planted in six decades. You would in addition to that, expect corn prices to plummet but in 2008 they doubled, thanks to corn ethanol sucking 25 thousand square miles of cropland out of food production. The only reliable indicator of “global” supply relative to “global” demand is price. Exports only mean that domestic needs are being met, at any cost. The high price means the world demand is running short. Things like population growth are outstripping crop yield increases. It’s the price that signals farmers what to plant. It’s the price that sends poor children to bed hungry.

    The system you want is continually depressed world-wide grain prices due to overproduction in the U.S. Then, the rest of the world stays poor and dependent on imports of cheap grain from the U.S. because they can’t afford to produce grain below the cost of production and we will go back to paying crop supports to our farmers.

    It’s odd to see a commodity farmer parroting a dog-eared mantra from the seventies and eighties. Funny how American farmers kick and scream for crop supports one minute, happy to depress world grain prices, and in the next minute argue that raising the price of food 60 or so percent for the billion starving poor would actually be a good thing. If they can grow corn for less than they can buy it, you would already be demanding a tariff to keep them from undercutting you by selling their surplus to the ethanol refineries, like you do for cane ethanol.

    They absolutely have not shown causation. They haven’t even shown a correlation.

    They absolutely have done both. You don’t think they have because you selectively read the propaganda released by corn ethanol front groups. I have yet to see any of these studies debunked via peer reviewed studies in Science or Nature, the same journals they appeared in.

    As ethanol production has increased, deforestation of the Amazon has decreased. Common sense would tell you that if those two things were happening at the same time, they’re not related.

    Ah, ha. Peer reviewed researchers published in the prestigious journals of Science and Nature can’t show causation or even a correlation …but a bunch of corn farmers and ethanol refiners and their for hire analysts see an interesting correlation between an increase in biofuel production …and a decrease in deforestation. Biofuels actually cause deforestation rates to fall …

    Common sense would strongly suggest that deforestation rates would have slowed even further without biofuel mandates creating a demand for cropland. Most deforestation is from logging and pasture. If those activities slow, deforestation rates will slow because they overshadow the nascent biofuel industry, but they would have slowed even more without demand for land caused by biofuel mandates. If you were from the logging or beef industry you would be claiming that there is no correlation between logging or beef production and deforestation.

    I provided this link before but apparently you never followed it:

    http://home.comcast.net/~russ676/desiremore/biofuelmyths1.htm#bookmark2

  8. pwintersatbiodotorg says:

    Just have to jump in here, particularly on:
    “Common sense would strongly suggest that deforestation rates would have slowed even further without biofuel mandates creating a demand for cropland.”

    Where’s your data to support that?

    The USDA projects that cropland in the U.S. will remain steady through 2050 in response to biofuel demand. In the absence of biofuel demand, U.S acreage would therefore be predicted to fall.

    But of course, markets for crops are also influenced by the price of oil (which affects production costs) and the relative value of currency. It has often been observed that agricultural production is a rent seeking enterprise, meaning it will grow wherever production costs are lowest.

    The relationship is far too complex for these overly simplistic appeals to “common sense.”

  9. Russ says:

    Where’s my data to support a common sense contention?

    It’s in the above posts and links to sources combined with a smidgen of rational thought. Look up the definition of rationalization bias. One side in this debate is using rational thought, the other is using rationalization to protect income streams. It’s normal, common, and to be expected. Debate isn’t to convince your debate partner. That’s not possible. Debate is for the audience.

    “..The USDA projects that cropland in the U.S. will remain steady through 2050 in response to biofuel demand. In the absence of biofuel demand, U.S acreage would therefore be predicted to fall…”

    First, USDA predictions have an abysmal track record, as do most predictions. You honestly believe they can predict anything that is 40 years away? They USDA is also under marching orders to promote making fuel from food.

    It’s moot in any case. The politicians know they will get kicked out of office it they let lobbyists put all of our food into gas. Ever wonder why a limit was set on corn if it has no downsides as claimed by corn ethanol proponents?

    If all of our cropland grew corn, you could easily double corn ethanol production without creating anymore farmland …in the United States. Farmers in Brazil would be scrambling to make cropland to grow what was displaced by corn.

    Is this concept really that hard to understand? No it isn’t, but

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” –Upton Sinclair

    The term “common sense” does not have a precise definition, but you always know it when you see it. And it certainly isn’t fool proof. It helps to formulate a hypothesis to test using the scientific method. My argument rests on peer reviewed science and numbers, common sense is just the icing on the cake.

    • nathanschock says:

      “First, USDA predictions have an abysmal track record, as do most predictions. You honestly believe they can predict anything that is 40 years away?”

      Biodiversivist, finally something we agree on! What do you think the theory of indirect land use change is based on? It’s using 30 and 100 year predictions of the impact that U.S. crops will have on land use change around the world. It then uses those wild guesses to assess a present-day carbon penalty to biofuels.

      And as I pointed out in my original post here, indirect land use change proponents are using bad data to make their projections.

      • Russ says:

        “..land use change proponents are using bad data to make their projections.”

        Land use change proponents = anyone who acknowledges that carbon sink destruction is occuring to make way for agriculture, pasture, palm oil plantations, soy, etc.

        Not all predictions are equal . The prediction that I will one day die is a solid one, although, timing is the detail we are most interested in. As with land displaced by biofuels, plenty of people will argue that nobody dies, they just go to heaven or hell (more proof of how rational thought can easily be overridden when there is an incentive to do so).

        The prediction that a tree will store carbon as it grows is also a solid one. The EPA could choose to assume it will take 30 years of biofuel use to replace the carbon sent into the atmosphere by a carbon sink cleared to make way for new crops. They could also choose a hundred years because it can take that long for a forest to fully regenerate and for the trees to fully mature.

        How long it will take for a carbon sink to regenerate and how much carbon was in it when it was destroyed depends on what kind of ecosystem it was.

        And this is the nub of your argument but it is not a very robust argument. The models being developed to account for what was displaced are moving up a learning curve. You want decisions to be put off until you decide the models are more developed. The problem of course, is that vested interests will never think they are good enough.

        The models used for global warming started out at the bottom of a learning curve as well.

        There is no doubt that greenhouse gas concentrations increase every year, and there is no doubt that carbon sinks are being displaced by agriculture.

        You have “chosen” to believe that American and European biofuel crops do not displace food crops to other places, not because it makes sense and not because research suggests as much, but for other reasons you don’t consciously realize, which is the essence of subconscious rationalization bias and the reason the scientific method was developed–to keep researchers from fooling themselves, and why nobody pays much attention to research done by or for vested interest groups.

        Your bad data argument is also being used by the global warming skeptics, particularly those with vested interests, the coal and oil lobbies.

        http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/coal-for-kids/

        http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/09/ethanol-in-the.php

  10. pwintersatbiodotorg says:

    Biodiversivist, I doubt either side in the debate is more heavily influenced by rationalization bias than the other. You claim to be the side that is using rational thought, yet you continue to appeal to “common sense” and rather ad hominem claims — both fallacies of logic.

    The peer-reviewed modeling and the authors published in Science and Nature have been diligent and properly cautious in noting that they are making projections that depend on multiple data inputs as well as a few assumptions. In only a few cases have these authors been so incautious as to claim (primarily to the media) that their projections are inescapable truths and so-called common sense.

  11. sciguy2 says:

    Russ/Biodiversivist–you have a whole lot of time on your hands, constantly cruising around the internet to blog against biofuels (your track record). You espouse electric cars as the ONLY solution to our dependence on oil. But electricity is mainly coming from coal, oil, and natural gas. And the electric car batteries come from nickel and lithium that have their own mining concerns. Also, most of the metals will come from foreign countries, especially Bolivia, which aren’t interested in selling it on the cheap. Why trade dependence on foreign oil for dependence on foreign lithium? Your arguments here are from a purely negative bias, based on assumptions and anecdotes that you consider science. How’s it going getting the Bolivians to give up their lithium?… How is there going to be enough lithium for the world’s exploding population, and what happens when that runs out? Let’s just remember that no fuel is going to be perfect–there will always be trade-off’s. Electric cars AND biofuel cars AND natural gas cars AND others… we will need them all and your constant drubbing of biofuels is suspect to the informed readers.

  12. sciguy2 says:

    Russ/Biodiversivist, you will need to discontinue referencing Searchinger. Searchinger is an environmental activist attorney. Somehow he has assumed a “researcher” title, but I guess we all do research. Searchinger’s research is based on assumptions just like most of land use change–and setting those assumptions to an extreme yields the results that the “researcher” wants. Did you know that Searchinger’s Environmental Defense receives funds from nfp’s that are anti-biofuels such as Kellogg’s, Environmental Working Group, Exxon, BP and Shell? His career movement from attorney for Environmental Defense to “researcher” at Princeton just as biofuels and land use change became a news topic is suspect in the least. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6940

    • Sciguy2,

      Yes, very suspicious indeed …the National Resource Defense Council is a secret front group for big oil, and a conservation/environmental activist attorney (who has somehow tricked the journal Science into publishing him five times) is in reality, the leader of a sleeper cell inside the NRDC, planted by big oil.

      …you have a whole lot of time on your hands

      Not true.

      You espouse electric cars as the ONLY solution to our dependence on oil

      Not true.

      But electricity is mainly coming from coal…

      Growth of electrification of transport is being greatly outpaced by growth of low carbon electricity generation.

      Also, most of the metals will come from foreign countries

      Not true

      …what happens when that [lithium]runs out

      Lithium isn’t a fuel that you burn, it’s a metal. It will be recycled into new batteries.

      Your arguments here are from a purely negative bias, based on assumptions and anecdotes that you consider science

      and also not true.

      • sciguy2 says:

        Russ, like it or not you are being extremely gullible if you question for a second that the fossil fuel energy companies are planting their own “researchers,” attorneys, and lobbyists inside the very organizations and agencies that are meant to provide a means for the alternatives (electric vehicles and biofuels included) to replace the fossil fuels. Call me alarmist–and I will call you extremely gullible. Searchinger is smooth, and he is doing the work of those in favor of energy status quo. It takes no tricking of Science when there’s a lot of money at stake. You must understand that energy companies provide a whole LOT of advertising funds (or even under the table) to publications. They may do it as an advertiser, or they funnel their funds into non-for-profits that then provide the funds. Corporations taking money from other corporations to benefit the whole chain. If electric vehicles can catch on very well, they will target them as well. You’re paying attention to the same red herring arguments that they will tweak to use against EV’s. Read it: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6940
        Read it:
        http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7221
        You will notice Rockefeller, Ford, Heinz, Kellogg, Chevron, EPA, Mobile, ad nauseum…

      • sciguy2 says:

        As far as NRDC, you will find more of the same of interest:
        http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6898
        Rockefeller, Ford, Heinz, EPA, I also notice Pew and Soros in a lot of these…Heck even the New York Times gets in on these gimmick organizations.

      • sciguy2 says:

        In the news today–topical deforestation DECREASED 45% in Brazil in last year, while U.S. ethanol SURGED.
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/13/brazil-amazon-deforestation-climate-change-copenhagen

  13. galop47 says:

    The biggest problem I see with the corn-ethanol leading to more soybeans in the Cerrado/Rainforest argument is the simple fact that Soybean production in Brazil was 58 Million Acres in 2003, and was 53 Million Acres in 2008.

    So, as ethanol production in the U.S. went up soybean planting in Brazil Went Down.

  14. galop47 says:

    The hardwoods in the Rainforest are incredibly valuable. Of course a corrupt, socialist government is going to continue to “harvest” them.

    The fact remains, Brazil is planting FEWER Acres of Soybeans than they were in 2003.

    And, btw, they are sitting on about 150 Million Acres of FALLOW land in the Cerrado.

    Your arguments are nonsensical.

  15. “The hardwoods in the Rainforest are incredibly valuable. Of course a corrupt, socialist government is going to continue to “harvest” them.”

    They were torching the land to plant crops, not log it.

    http://home.comcast.net/~russ676/desiremore/biofuelmyths1.htm#bookmark2

    The fact that they are planting fewer acres of soybeans in Brazil is irrelevant. Taking 25 thousand square miles of the most productive farmland out of the human food chain stimulated increased agriculture across the globe.

    “And, btw, they are sitting on about 150 Million Acres of FALLOW land in the Cerrado.”

    Then why were they torching the Amazon?

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/amazon-soy-moratorium-extended-072809

  16. sciguy2,

    The link you provided also provided the reason for the decline of deforestation:

    “… Since February 2008 the government has been waging an “unprecedented” campaign against the loggers, dispatching hundreds of heavily armed agents to remote rainforest towns where destruction was out of control.

    But, in a statement, Greenpeace activists in Brazil said the world financial crisis had also played a part in silencing the chainsaws. “The crisis … has contributed to helping put the breaks on the rhythm of destruction, with a fall in the demand for Amazon products linked to deforestation such as meat, soy and timber,” Greenpeace said.

    Tellingly, Mato Grosso, a soy producing Amazonian state that has seen its forests ravished in recent years largely as a result of the Chinese demand for soy, saw a 65% drop in deforestation…”

    and of course, the soy they were providing is still being provided by someone, somewhere in the world.

    Land displacement is a reality.

    A decrease in Amazonian deforestation thanks to the efforts of environmentalists and a responsive government is not evidence against land displacement.

    Your discoverthenetworks.org was founded by David Horowitz, a big oil apologist.

    • sciguy2 says:

      Yes it is founded by Horowitz, which gives us even more reason to use the information against oil, since it shows the links between big oil and the environmental groups. He would not knowingly do so when it could be used in this way. The oil companies and other corporations have placed their moles within the environmental groups, there is no denying it. Searchinger is just one example.

      • Riiight. Well, if Searchinger is a secret mole planted by big oil, his arguments are still sound. Consider lining your hat with tin foil. It helped me ; )

        You are using information from a website run by an oil apologist to support your arguments against oil. That’s like using information from a cigarette company website to argue against cigarettes. Have to admit, it’s a novel approach.

    • sciguy2 says:

      The Chinese needed more soy so some Amazonian land got razed–shame on the Brazilians (not U.S. corn farmers). The Chinese go for the lowest cost crop–from Brazil. They do the same thing for energy and metals in other nations. If we grew more soybeans, corn prices would go up, and someone somewhere would cut forests to grow more corn. Only 1/3 of the kernel of corn becomes ethanol (high protein livestock feed is left over). Cows bloat and die from eating only corn kernels due to the high levels of starch–removing it makes a better livestock feed. However, while U.S. ethanol ramped up deforestation rates hugely decreased. Have you noticed that Mato Grasso contains a very small portion of the Amazonian rain forest (the rest is on other states)? If governments and environmentalists are keeping the Amazon from being cleared, kudos to them. Keep it up. Let’s keep growing corn and soybeans on already cultivated land, all the while yields per acre keep increasing. It’s either that or keep on importing foreign petroleum. That Amazonian forest land won’t be fertile for very long at all–they will learn their lesson. How’s it going getting the Bolivians to give up their lithium for batteries?

  17. galop47 says:

    The FACT is: As ethanol production Increased, Brazilian Soy production DECREASED! That is the Fact.

    The Second FACT is that they have 150 Million Acres of Arable Land lying FALLOW in the Cerrado.

    It was the demand for LUMBER that was impacted by the Recession. Not the demand for Corn, and Beans.

  18. Use of capital letters does not add credibility to your argument.

    I’ve explained to you five separate times now why a decrease in Amazonian deforestation is irrelevant to your argument. I’ll explain a sixth time.

    Meat consumption drops with a drop in income. A drop in meat consumption drops demand for MEAT which drops demand for cattle feed (soy) and pasture (which can now be used to grow soy).

    Deforestation has not stopped, it has only slowed and a decrease in Amazonian deforestation without a decrease in demand for what caused the deforestation just displaces the problem to another part of the world.

    Corn ethanol increases demand for arable land.

    “…The Second FACT is that they have 150 Million Acres of Arable Land lying FALLOW in the Cerrado….”

    Then why were they torching the Amazon to create more arable land in 2008?

    http://home.comcast.net/~russ676/desiremore/biofuelmyths1.htm#bookmark2

    • sciguy2 says:

      And use of cap’s doesn’t take away credibility Russ, it just emphasizes the main points. Your whole argument disappears once someone becomes educated about agriculture and livestock (you do not appear to be educated in this topic). Cows die from eating whole corn kernels–they bloat up and die. That’s due to the high level of starch. Corn ethanol removes only the starch from the corn, leaving the high protein livestock feed, distillers grains with solubles (others such as corn gluten as well). Only 1/3 of the kernel (the starch) becomes the corn ethanol–and that’s the part that kills cows. Besides which, most Brazilian soy production is far from the Amazon.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brazil_land_1977.jpg
      ILUC defeated, end of story. But go ahead and keep posting myths and anecdotes. How’s it going getting the Bolivians to give up their lithium for batteries?…

      • From my perspective, you do not appear to be very well educated on agricultural topics.

        It takes 56 pounds of corn kernels to produce 2.8 gallons of ethanol, 11.4 pounds of distiller’s grain., 3 pounds of Glutan meal, and 1.6 pounds of corn oil. So, 56 – 11.4 -3 -1.6 = 40 pounds of corn lost that cannot feed people (or the cows that people eat). In other words, about 70 percent of a bushel of corn is lost to the food chain when you use it to make ethanol.

        “…Besides which, most Brazilian soy production is far from the Amazon….”

        It makes little difference where new cropland is created. Grow soy on existing pasture and the rancher will just create new pasture for his cattle. The Cerrado ecosystem is also rich in biodiversity and a carbon sink. Any expansion of agriculture in today’s world is harmful. It is a necessary evil to keep humanity fed. It should not be done to fuel SUVs.

        http://biodiversivist.blogspot.com/2009/10/transgressing-identified-and-quantified.html

        It has been pointed out many times now with many links to sources that thanks to environmental groups, Greenpeace in particular, the Brazilian government has taken steps to slow the conversion of the amazon to agriculture. This is good for the Amazon but displacing agriculture to other carbon sinks is just squeezing water from one end of a balloon to the other.

        There is no real difference between ILUC (indirect land use change) and direct land use change. It is mostly just a matter of semantics.

        “…How’s it going getting the Bolivians to give up their lithium for batteries?…”

        Batteries are just a form of technology being used to improve transport efficiency. Thanks to batteries the world has a mid-sized hatchback that gets 50 mpg. That’s just an engineering fact. They are not a sliver bullet.

        Having said that, there is a lithium mine in Nevada that “could be used to produce ((1000/0.6)*9.35) = 15.6 billion kWh of lithium batteries or about 1 billion Volt PHEVs or 650 million Nissan Leaf EVs.”

        Source: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/western-lithium-20090910.html

  19. sciguy2 says:

    Russ, have you considered that soy and livestock may be a side effect rather than the causal factor? Those hardwoods are very valuable. Take away soy and livestock completely from the picture. The impoverished and corporations would still go in and illegally harvest those hardwoods to make money! Now that they have the land cleared, what is to be done with it? A farmer puts cattle or crops on it. The cattle and crops are just a new use for the land, not the reason it was cleared. How many farmers actually make much of any kind of living by farming any way? Many are going out of business now, just as they have been for decades. No, it is the value of the lumber for why the forests are cleared. And that will never stop–humans need wood, always have, always will. Blaming it on livestock and crops is very misleading.

    • sciguy2 says:

      New real numbers show ILUC to be a sham. We are producing more corn on fewer acres than previous years, while ramping up ethanol production and having corn left over. 31% less land was needed this year to produce 13 billion bushels of corn in the U.S. than would have been in 1995. Russ, you won’t like the source, but you can’t deny the numbers (well, you can but that would be silly).
      http://www.ethanolrfa.org/objects/documents/2696/virtual_acres_release_11.10.pdf

      • “…you won’t like the source, but you can’t deny the numbers (well, you can but that would be silly)….”

        Citing the RFA in defense of corn ethanol is like citing Phillip Morris in defense of cigarettes. And the numbers are easily disputed. Their for hire analyst has been exposed many times for cooking up ridiculous reports in support of the RFA. Get that report published in Nature or Science and I’ll respect it.

        For starters, they used in their spreadsheet an “estimated” 162.9 bushels per acre. That number will come down once the crop is in. And in bad crop years they will be scrambling to make excuses for the spike in corn prices, blaming everyone but themselves as they always do (grocers, meat and egg producers, big oil, and on and on).

        They also deliberately mislead readers with their wording by comparing what they hope is a bumper crop year against last year. No mention that the last three years are the largest corn plantings in 60 years.

        I could go on and on.

        The world is counting on increasing yields to keep billions from starving. They have been increasing on average for decades. Diverting yield improvements to American gas tanks just pours gas on that fire.

        “….New real numbers show ILUC to be a sham…..”

        Not true

        “…We are producing more corn on fewer acres than previous years, while ramping up ethanol production and having corn left over…”

        The 30 year trend line for increasing corn yields is about 1.5% a year. That is not nearly enough to compensate for the 25% of our corn we put into fuel tanks. The last three years were the largest corn plantings in 60 years.

        And of course there is corn left over, until we put it all into our gas tanks, which is why the government limited the amount of ethanol that can come from corn. They fear a voter backlash should they allow all of our food to be turned into fuel.

    • “…soy and livestock may be a side effect rather than the causal factor?…”

      It doesn’t matter. The end result is the same, regardless of motive. Seen that argument used over and over again in defense of palm oil.

      “Loggers cleared the land. We just put a plantation on it.”

      A regenerating forest pulls carbon out of the atmosphere. Replacing it with agriculture does not allow that to happen and helps drive the orangutan along with other species closer to extinction to boot.

      “…No, it is the value of the lumber for why the forests are cleared…”

      Sometime the main motive may be for lumber, sometimes not. It does not matter. When you clear land you are of course going to sell the lumber found there. And of course, once cleared you are going to sell the land to someone who wants to grow crops or graze cattle. The increased demand for arable land by biofuels exacerbates this situation. The incentive to grow crops is a function of price, which is also exacerbated by biofuels.

      • sciguy2 says:

        Russ, you continue to miss the point that we don’t use the corn in our gas tanks. We use the 1/3 of the kernel that is corn starch. Please reply as to this point. So even if we used EVERY SINGLE KERNEL of corn in the U.S., we would only be putting 1/3 of the corn into our gas tanks. That 1/3 is the 1/3 that cows don’t digest well, and even die when they eat too much. The co-products of corn ethanol production such as distillers grain and corn gluten are high protein high value livestock feed. Most corn is used in livestock feed. Now instead of shipping useless corn starch with the corn kernels, we ship the distillers grain and corn gluten. This nearly completely kills the ILUC argument. Increasing yields per acre and decreasing deforestation put the nail in the coffin.

  20. We use the 1/3 of the kernel that is corn starch.

    No. About 70 percent of a bushel of corn is lost to the food chain when you use it to make ethanol. I’m guessing that you missed this in one of my posts so I’ll repeat it:

    “It takes 56 pounds of corn kernels to produce 2.8 gallons of ethanol, 11.4 pounds of distiller’s grain., 3 pounds of Glutan meal, and 1.6 pounds of corn oil. So, 56 – 11.4 -3 -1.6 = 40 pounds of corn lost that cannot feed people (or the cows that people eat).”

    40/56 x 100% = 71 percent

    “…So even if we used EVERY SINGLE KERNEL of corn in the U.S., we would only be putting 1/3 of the corn into our gas tanks…”

    No. We would be putting 70% of our corn into our gas tanks. See above calculations.

    “…Now instead of shipping useless corn starch with the corn kernels, we ship the distillers grain and corn gluten…”

    Most cattle in the US is fattened 3 to 6 months on a mostly corn diet. The starch provides the energy needed to put on weight quickly. It is anything but useless.

  21. sciguy2 says:

    No. 1/3 of the kernel becomes ethanol. 1/3 is feed co-products, and 1/3 is CO2 that plants like Renew bottle and sell (soda pop, etc.). And if they don’t capture and sell it, it is returned to the atmosphere for the plants to use again.
    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-102835493.html
    http://www.renewenergyllc.com/who_we_are_renew_utica.php

    We certainly do NOT put 70% of our corn into our gas tanks. If we are now sending 1/3 of our corn to our ethanol plants, and 1/3 of that (starch) is going into our fuel tanks, then right now 1/9 of our corn is going into our fuel tanks. That’s about 12%. Even if we send 1/2 of our corn to ethanol plants (near the maximum expected any time soon by RFS2), we will still only be putting 1/6 of our corn into our fuel tanks-or about 17%.

    Still plenty of corn to fatten cattle. Other grains provide starch as well, such as sorghum, oats, wheat, etc. Who says we have to fatten cattle for market anyway? Out west we eat a whole lot of tasty grass-fed cattle; no need to fatten. Fattened cattle is a gimmick to add fat weight that either 1) makes people fat or 2) gets cut off and thrown away as waste. Sure it tastes good to some, but necessary? No. Especially if you are worried about people starving in other nations, you should be worried about corn being used to fatten U.S. cattle. Are you, Russ?

    All of this back-and-forth continues to demonstrate that people who do not know agriculture and ethanol processes should not be posting negative myths relating to ethanol. In the kindest sese of the word, it spreads dangerous ignorance.

    Russ, please place your focus on getting the Bolivians to give up their lithium for batteries cheaply.

  22. galop47 says:

    You must think you’re talking to kids. The Other 1/3 is CO2 (approx. 17 lbs.) I don’t know about where you’re from; but, where I’m from, cows don’t get very fat eating CO2.

    Even the most rabid ethanol critics, including those pushing the ILUC hoax, admit that you get back 60% of your cattle feeding ability when you process a bushel of corn for ethanol (NREL says it’s closer to 70%.)

    And, the fact still remains, Brazil is planting 5 Million FEWER Acres in Beans than they were in 2003.

    Oh, and you can still buy all the corn you want for $0.07/lb. How many pounds of corn can You eat in a day?

    • “…You must think you’re talking to kids. The Other 1/3 is CO2 (approx. 17 lbs.) I don’t know about where you’re from; but, where I’m from, cows don’t get very fat eating CO2…..”

      No, it’s not a kid I think I’m talking to and that part about CO2 is not true.

      “…Even the most rabid ethanol critics, including those pushing the ILUC hoax, admit that you get back 60% of your cattle feeding ability when you process a bushel of corn for ethanol (NREL says it’s closer to 70%.)….”

      Also not true.

      “…And, the fact still remains, Brazil is planting 5 Million FEWER Acres in Beans than they were in 2003…”

      That fact is irrelevant to the land use argument for reasons pointed out to you half a dozen times in the above comments.

      “…Oh, and you can still buy all the corn you want for $0.07/lb. How many pounds of corn can You eat in a day?….”

      I don’t eat unprocessed grain. Even livestock does better if it has been cracked first.

      That’s the wholesale price and note that it is double the price received in the years 2000 through 2005. Then the ethanol mandates started to take hold.:

      http://home.comcast.net/~russ676/Graphics/img30.gif

      And no, I can’t buy it for that, and neither can the poor of Africa. The retail price is what we have to pay.

      Obviously that price was high enough to put some livestock and dairy farmers out of business, while causing others to reduce production to minimize losses. Up to 60% of their costs is feed.

      It is obviously also high enough to help push the number of hungry over a billion.

      • sciguy2 says:

        So now it is agreed–only 1/3 of the corn kernel (the starch) goes into the ethanol. If 1/2 of U.S. corn is delivered to ethanol plants according to RFS2 in future years, only 1/6 of the total crop will become ethanol. The starch is only good for fattening cows before slaughter, and the merits of doing so are dubious especially when considering the hungry and poor that do without. The cows can grow and thrive just as well on distillers grain and corn gluten, as well as the many other feed options. I think we all can agree that ethanol 1) uses a minority portion of the corn crop and 2) the use of the starch portion in feed is dubious and wasteful when compared with decreasing imports of foreign oil and the American jobs and economic benefits from domestic ethanol fuel.

        Russ, the price of corn is far far below the price of corn in the 1970′s, when adjusted for the value of the dollar. It’s a lot like our $1,100 gold today is nothing compared to in the 1980′s, when it would have been over $2,000 in today’s dollars.

        In 3rd world countries like those of Africa, a large portion of the population is still rural and farming. Our constant overflow of high corn yields has depressed the world price of grains, keeping those people poor and hungry. By increasing the value of grain some by ethanol to more sustainable levels, we put money into those nations, which allows their farming population to build their infrastructure and nation’s wealth and to become less impoverished and hungry. That’s the way economics work. People are going hungry now due to infrastructure problems and poor national economies, not out of lack of grain. There’s plenty of grain being exported from the U.S. and other nations.

        Our livestock and dairy operations are out of business while grain prices are still historically depressed when adjusted for the value of the dollar. This is because they overexpanded and took out too much debt for that expansion, a double-whammy. The operations that are making it are servicing little or no debt, because they didn’t make the mistake of over-expansion. It’s a constant boom and bust cycle with livestock and especially dairy. The world recession and resultant less consumption of meat and dairy products also put a hit on these industries big-time. It’s not due to grain prices that some of these operations are going out of business. An honest operator will tell you it’s because they have too much debt, and because the market now is no good due to over-expansion and the world economy fallout. Russ, because you are uneducated (the kind use of the word) of the agriculture industry, you continue to spread false myths. Please become educated on these topics or stop posting about biofuels. I know–you’ve spent huge amounts of time building up your myths website. Often maturity can be found in admitting mistakes and working to correct them. I truly believe your calling involves getting the Bolivians to give up their lithium for batteries cheaply. You are tenacious and intelligent in those regards, and can serve the world well in doing such. Thanks.

  23. “…So now it is agreed–only 1/3 of the corn kernel (the starch) goes into the ethanol. …”

    There is no such agreement. That is an intellectually dishonest debate technique called a false premise. That was not true the first three times you said it, and it still isn’t true, and it won’t be true, no matter how many times you say it.

    It takes 56 pounds of corn kernels to produce 2.8 gallons of ethanol, 11.4 pounds of distiller’s grain., 3 pounds of Glutan meal, and 1.6 pounds of corn oil. So, 56 – 11.4 -3 -1.6 = 40 pounds of corn lost that cannot feed people (or the cows that people eat).

    40/56 x 100% = 71 percent of a bushel of corn is lost to the human food chain when used for fuel.

    “…If 1/2 of U.S. corn is delivered to ethanol plants according to RFS2 in future years, only 1/6 of the total crop will become ethanol…”

    Not true. We used just over 1/5 of our corn crop last year for ethanol and that is accounting for the distiller’s grains, and only added roughly 5% to our gasoline supply.

    “…The starch is only good for fattening cows before slaughter, and the merits of doing so are dubious especially when considering the hungry and poor that do without…”

    I’ll let you corn ethanol enthusiasts continue to fight over the corn with the livestock producers. I’m not in either camp.

    “…The cows can grow and thrive just as well on distillers grain and corn gluten, as well as the many other feed options…”

    That’s a strawman. Nobody said that distiller’s grains are not a fine feed supplement. That isn’t the point. The point is that 70% of a bushel of corn is lost to the human food chain when used to make ethanol.

    “…I think we all can agree that ethanol 1) uses a minority portion of the corn crop…”

    Nobody said that corn ethanol is presently using more than half of the corn crop.

    “…and 2) the use of the starch portion in feed is dubious and wasteful…”

    i certainly never agreed that the starch portion of livestock feed is dubious and wasteful.

    “…when compared with decreasing imports of foreign oil and the American jobs and economic benefits from domestic ethanol fuel….”

    Hundreds of billions have been spent on corn ethanol and states like Nebraska got a whopping thousand extra jobs. 25 thousand square miles of the most productive cropland on earth and a doubling of corn prices to add roughly 5% to our gasoline supply.

    “…Russ, the price of corn is far far below the price of corn in the 1970’s, when adjusted for the value of the dollar…”

    Corn prices were at a record high in 1972. The following quote is from the source that follows it:

    “…In the grain deal of 1972, the Russians bought large quantities of U.S. wheat and corn at a time when American farmers were already fairly scraping their silos to meet heavy domestic and foreign demand. Prices of some grains more than doubled as a result, giving a sharp upward kick to inflation…”

    Source: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919164,00.html

    In 1972 one out of every four human beings on earth was starving.

    “…In 3rd world countries like those of Africa, a large portion of the population is still rural and farming. Our constant overflow of high corn yields has depressed the world price of grains, keeping those people poor and hungry. …”

    You are now repeating arguments others have already made in the above comments. You should read those comments before making the mistake of repeating them. Following is how your above comment was previously addressed. If you repeat it in the future, just return to this response every time, rinse, and repeat:

    “…It’s odd to see a commodity farmer parroting a dog-eared mantra from the seventies and eighties. Funny how American farmers kick and scream for crop supports one minute, happy to depress world grain prices, and in the next minute argue that raising the price of food 60 or so percent for the billion starving poor would actually be a good thing. If they can grow corn for less than they can buy it, you would already be demanding a tariff to keep them from undercutting you by selling their surplus to the ethanol refineries, like you do for cane ethanol…”

    You go on to say:

    “…By increasing the value of grain some by ethanol to more sustainable levels, we put money into those nations, which allows their farming population to build their infrastructure and nation’s wealth and to become less impoverished and hungry…”

    No. We are starving people. The number of hungry has passed through a billion for the first time in history. American farmers have handed the poor a one-two knock-out punch by first depressing grain prices outside of our country via subsidies to the point that they stood no chance of competing with their own farms and now they are down, raising the cost of food to the point they can’t afford to eat. You expect a poor African farmer to run out a buy a corn harvester now that those corn prices are high?

    “…People are going hungry now due to infrastructure problems and poor national economies, not out of lack of grain. …”

    You are suggesting that doubling the price of food for an impoverished mother will some how help that situation. The only thing that matters to an impoverished mom trying to feed her children is the “price” of food. Corn is a major staple and corn ethanol has doubled its price.

    “…Our livestock and dairy operations are out of business while grain prices are still historically depressed when adjusted for the value of the dollar…”

    No. Our grain prices are not historically depressed. Following is my response to the other poster who made that claim:

    “…Terminology matters. A market determined commodity price might not be as high as a farmer wants it to be, and that may be depressing, but you can’t call a market determined price “depressed.” It’s a function of supply and demand, except in America, farmers are also subsidized, which does indeed tend to depress prices in other countries, but not here…”

    You have been told this before. Up to 60% of their costs can be in feed. Double the price of feed and you force them into the red until they can get retail prices in the grocery stores high enough to cover costs. In the future when you make this argument again, refer back to this response, rinse, repeat.

    “…It’s not due to grain prices that some of these operations are going out of business. An honest operator will tell you it’s because they have too much debt, and because the market now is no good due to over-expansion and the world economy fallout. …”

    No. Debt is a fact of life for businesses. Clearly, one definition of “too much debt” is when the price of feed goes up too much to make loan payments.

    “…Russ, because you are uneducated (the kind use of the word) of the agriculture industry, you continue to spread false myths. …”

    Sciguy2, I strongly suspect that anyone with an even slightly open mind bothering to read our debate would draw the opposite conclusions.

    “…Please become educated on these topics or stop posting about biofuels. I know–you’ve spent huge amounts of time building up your myths website…”

    I am an authority on the topic of biofuels. The myth website took very little time. I own dozens of websites. I add to it on occasion. It’s nothing but an online reference sheet. Often maturity can be found in admitting mistakes and working to correct them.

    “…I truly believe your calling involves getting the Bolivians to give up their lithium for batteries cheaply…”

    Here, I’ll repeat this one again, as I have repeated so many other responses. There is a lithium mine in Nevada that “could be used to produce ((1000/0.6)*9.35) = 15.6 billion kWh of lithium batteries or about 1 billion Volt PHEVs or 650 million Nissan Leaf EVs.”

    Source: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/western-lithium-20090910.html

    Debate is not to convince your debate partner of your point of view. That is not possible. Debate is for the audience, assuming you have one.

    http://biodiversivist.blogspot.com/2009/04/photo-credit-patries71-on-flickr.html

  24. sciguy2 says:

    “Author: biodiversivist
    Comment:

    From my perspective, you do not appear to be very well educated on agricultural topics.”

    You are mistaken. Myself, family, and extended family for more than 5 generations were raised in the most productive agriculture states, having grown grain, oilseeds, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and raised cows, swine, chicken, sheep, horses, and other livestock. Myself and my family have advanced degrees in agriculture and studies in biofuels from the highest respected agriculture universities. Our knowledge of corn and its uses are very high. I inquire about yours. But that doesn’t matter, as it is up to the reader, as you have pointed out. You are not interested in learning or having an open mind, rather you want to to just stick to your guns.

    You can keep posting “facts” and I as well–and they will be opposites of course. Mine come from universities, government, industry, and an immense amount of personal experience. Your “facts” about corn ethanol seem to come from environmental activist groups, the internet, and others that trade corn ethanol myths. I believe a discerning reader will notice that our facts continue to be in opposition, and trust the ones from someone with an immense personal experience such as mine. Call yourself an authority if you want; so do many others that “learn” “facts” from the internet…

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