Supporters Hope to Expand Ethanol Output
"There are benefits for both the corn producers, livestock producers and consumers as well, especially when gas prices are this high," noted Vern Pierce of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture.
MU's Breimeyer Seminar focused on ethanol's impact on fuel, farming and the economy. Current ethanol production is 5 billion gallons a year.
"We did a recent study that shows that gas prices are about 40 cents a gallon less than they would be if this 5 billion gallons of ethanol were not in the marketplace," said Gary Marshall of the Missouri Corn Growers Association.
Corn demand increases along with alternative fuel production, but livestock farmers shouldn't worry about feed costs. That's because ethanol produced from corn uses only the starch of the kernal, so protein, vitamins and minerals are still left for livestock or human food.
Missouri's yearly corn crop can allow ethanol producers to make almost a billion gallons of fuel and nearly 3.5 billion pounds of livestock feed. Ethanol producers hope to triple their output in the next 10 years.