Fuel or Food?

Corn Farmers Smile as Ethanol Prices Rise, but Experts on Food Supplies Worry

Published: 19-Jan-2006

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa, Jan. 11 - Early every winter here, farmers make their best guesses about how much food the world will demand in the coming year, and then decide how many acres of corn to plant, and how many of soybeans.

But this year is different. Now it is not just the demand for food that is driving the decision, it is also the demand for ethanol, the fuel that is made from corn.

Some states are requiring that ethanol be blended in small amounts with gasoline to comply with anti-pollution laws. High oil prices are dragging corn prices up with them, as the value of ethanol is pushed up by the value of the fuel it replaces.

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