With the the country in the throes of a drought hard decisions will have to made, fuel for the bellies or fuel for the cars.
The Obama administration was urged on Monday to stop diverting grain to gas amid warnings of an "imminent food crisis" caused by America's drought.
It seems the dilemma is now do we combat the inevitable rise in food prices by "earmarking" for food or industry? It's a bit of a Catch-22 actually but do we feed the people with actual food or do we feed those that work in the ethanol industry with money so they can afford the food? Well considering the deal being negotiated for the farm bill from both parties involves cuts to the food stamp program, does it really matter?
Meanwhile, research published last week by the New England Complex Systems Institute warned of an "imminent food crisis" because of the diversion of corn stocks to ethanol.
"Necsi has warned for months that misguided food-to-ethanol conversion programs and rampant commodity speculation have created a food price bubble, leading to an inevitable spike in prices by 2013. Now it appears the "crop shock" will arrive even sooner due to drought, unless measures to curb ethanol production and rein in speculators are adopted immediately," the researchers warned.
In the latest move, the country's meat, dairy and poultry producers called on the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend this year's quotas for corn ethanol production.
They are being told that diversion will affect not only the cornmeal we use to make cornbread but every food group that depends on the crop.
The National Corn Growers Association, which supports corn ethanol production, said in a statement that it was "premature" to suspend the incentive. "With the crop still in the field, it is too early to determine this year's final corn supply," it said in a statement.
Obviously corn growers are nervous. Why shouldn't they be? Well because prices are rising and anyone able to get a crop out of the field stand to profit immensely on the rising price of the staple, what's sad is that it will be big ag that can afford to produce what the local family farm can't.