The Obama killer food-for-fuel policy is on course, with terrible impact on the food chain, as most recently documented by the monthly "World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates" report, issued Jan. 11 by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The report gave the estimates for the 2012/2013 crop year, compared to the last two years (detailed below). At least 42% of corn production is now going for ethanol. At least 26% of soybean oil is going for bio-diesel. Even if USDA statistics have become notoriously erratic and untrustworthy, the overall pattern of biofuel-damage to the food supply is clear.
There is chaos in the Farmbelt, for how to plan for care for livestock. For example, an article today is headlined, "When Corn Runs Short," posted on nationalhogfarmer.com. It is is written by Iowa State University hog-raising expert John Patience, to give advice and warnings on the lack of standard feed for pigs. He writes, "The once dominant corn-soybean meal diet has given way to a more diverse list of ingredients that few could have imagined just five years ago." Farmers are resorting to wheat, barley, canola meal, low-grade field peas, etc. Patience cautions, "But the use of 'non-traditional' ingredients in swine diets is more complicated than simply bringing them to the feedmill, and asking a swine nutritionist to have a go at developing a new generation of diets." There are all kinds of problems involved.
42% of U.S. corn production is now going into ethanol. This exceeds, for the second year in a row, the volume of corn going for livestock feed, which is in absolute decline. And likewise, the volume of U.S. corn going into exports is in decline.
U.S. corn production year-to-year has declined from 12.447 billion bushels (2010/11) down to 12.36 bb (2011/2012), down to an estimated 10.78 bb (2012/2013).
The amount of corn going into ethanol during these same years: 5.019 bb (2010/11), 5.011 bb (2011/2012), 4.5 bb (2012/2013).
The amount of corn going into U.S. livestock feed fell, from 4.795 bb (2010/2011), down to 4.548 bb (2011/2012), down to 4.150 bb (2012/2013).
U.S. corn exports have fallen from 1.834 bb (2010/2011), down to 1.159 estimated for this year.
U.S. corn imports have now jumped, going from .028 bb up to 1.0 bb this current year.
U.S. Soybean Oil-for-fuel
26% of soybean oil is going into biodiesel for the gastank. While production of soybean oil has gone up and down, from 18.888 bil pounds (2010/2011), to 19.7 bil pounds (2011/2012), down to 18.7 bil pounds expected this year (2012/2013), the poundage going into biodiesel has increased from 2.737 bil pounds in 2010/2011 to an expected 4.9 bil pounds this year.
Soybean oil is a vital part of the food chain, used for frying, salads, and as an ingredient for processed food products of all kinds.
The "fiscal fix" bill passed by Congress two weeks ago now has reinstated the biodiesel tax-benefit to further this use of soybean oil for biofuel. Moreover, the 26% of soybean oil-biofuels, doesn't even count the non-fuel, non-food uses of soybean oil for candles and other "bio-products" the Obama Administration is pushing.