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Livestock & Grain Prices
Oct 27, 2008
I watch your program on the weekends (religiously). I enjoy the programs. My continual criticism was that the programs and Al Pell’s segment catered exclusively to the grain farmer. Nothing was ever mentioned about the cattle farmer who had to purchase the high priced grain. I do not raise grain so the programs did not apply to my situation. I was glad to see that the Oct. 26/27 program addressed some concerns of the cattle farmer.
Drought gripped Kentucky in 2007 and 2008. Many of us were forced to purchase hay from out of state in order to keep our cattle alive in 07. The hay I purchase came from Kansas. When we were forced to purchase high priced grain and commodities, we felt as though we were hit with a double whammy. The bottom line of those of us who did not raise grain was severely challenged it was mostly red ink.
Although every expert stated that the high prices that grain farmers enjoyed was not due to ethanol, from my perspective it appeared that ethanol played a role in the high prices. I felt that the government support of ethanol was due to the influence of grain farmers (Illinois) and their congressional leaders. I also feel that ethanol from grain may be a break even situation at best from an energy perspective. The concept is something to make the green supporters and folks that do not know any better feel good. The cellulolytic concept makes much more sense than corn based ethanol production from an energy perspective.
Should I feel bad that grain prices are temporarily in the tank right now? Should I feel bad that the incoming administration (whoever) may not be friendly to the continued government support of ethanol production? I would welcome a discussion as to why I, as a cattle farmer, should be concerned about the lower grain prices and the possibility that government support of ethanol production may be cut.
Cattle farmer and University Professor