Ethanol provides food for a hungry world: Grains Council CEO Expects China To Import Corn In 2011

U.S. Grains Council officials are estimating the Chinese corn crop at 158 million metric tons following their annual China corn tour.  That’s lower than the USDA estimate of 166 million metric tons, but above last year’s 155 million metric ton harvest estimate.  Despite the projected rise in Chinese corn production, Grains Council CEO Tom Dorr says he expects China to import corn and dried distillers grains in calendar year 2011 due to a tight supply and demand situation.
 
And Dorr says China’s demand for corn will likely grow even more by 2015.
 
The Grains Council’s China corn tour covered 71 percent of the nation’s corn producing area.  They took over 300 samples in the seven highest corn producing areas.

Our Take:
Yes, ethanol is responsible for delivering more food to the world. Not only will China import raw corn from America–and this market is expected to grow continually over the next forty years–they also will purchase distillers grains. This isn’t just ethanol leftovers. This is a high quality feed component–delivering energy to cattle and other livestock through the corn oil contains, and a very effective growth ration through the concentrated protein it has.

The fact that ethanol makes farming profitable for American farmers not only keeps the farm economy strong, but it creates great incentives to ag science to develop more and more productive varieties.

Recent news has told us of the 40 percent drop in farm income farmers experienced last year. There are a growing number of farmers whose loans are being called by banks–some are able to find a way out through mediation, others will lose the farm. Make no mistake–the market for corn provided by ethanol has been the factor that has allowed many crop farmers to hang on through this economic adversity.

Looking beyond our shores, the great hope for biological diversity across the world, according to the late Norman Borlaug, will be the diffusion of high yielding crop technologies. Especially when these come to be adopted in the developing world, it will mean raising more food on the same or fewer acres of land. It holds the potential to increase the wealth of farmers and strengthen developing economies as a whole.

Or you can try to feed the world’s livestock on grass and you may as well sign the death warrant of the world’s tropical forests–all that land will be needed for pasture.

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