Biofuel Criticism Draws Rebuttal
by Gene Lucht (Iowa Farmer Today) …That’s what Craig Floss did when several speakers spoke derisively about biofuels during this past week’s World Food Prize symposium.
Floss, executive director of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, says 99 percent of the food prize debate is exciting and interesting.
However, he was disappointed when Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, former CEO of the Nestle Group, sharply criticized biofuels during the event.
While discussing a series of world hunger issues, Brabeck-Letmathe made it clear he opposed biofuel production, saying it distorts the market.
…Floss says it is true about 40 percent of Iowa’s corn goes to ethanol production, but adds a third of that total comes back as a high-quality livestock feed (dried distillers’ grains or DDGs). He also said farmers have increased production to meet those ethanol needs.
Even with a drought, the nation likely will produce the eighth-largest crop in history this year, he says. One of the reasons is farmers have ramped up acreage and per-acre production in an effort to produce more corn to meet the demand.
What’s more, he said there is enough food to feed the world. While too many people in poor nations are still hungry, the number is lower than it was before biofuel production.
There is one other thing. Floss says some groups that work to combat world hunger complained a few years ago U.S. ag subsidies kept world prices too low and hurt farmers in poor nations.
Some of those groups today complain biofuels push farm prices too high and hurt farmers in poor nations.
“Which is it?” he asked. READ MORE