Ethanol production hurts livestock farmers

MICHIGAN - Part of President Bush's new energy policy is to produce more ethanol to be less dependent on foreign oil. But, in order to make ethanol, you need corn. That reality is putting a premium on the price of corn and squeezing livestock farmers' profits here in Michigan.
calendar icon 25 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

At Sietsema Farms in Allendale, they have buildings with tens of thousands of turkeys in them. The birds eat a lot of corn feed in one year. Unfortunately for Sietsema, these days the cost of that corn is a lot more meaty.

"The price of corn from a year ago has literally doubled ... our bottom line is going to suffer tremendously," says feed manager Art Nor.

Sietsema sells a million turkeys a year, many raised here at the farm in Allendale. They also have 200,000 pigs that eat corn. The price tag just to feed their animals this year, will be $6 million more than last.

"Whether you milk cows, raise hogs, have beef cattle, it's going to affect all segments of livestock agriculture," Nor says.

The main reason corn costs more is because of skyrocketing ethanol production. Because of a new energy policy, the federal government is subsidizing ethanol, so manufacturers are cranking it out. The point is to reduce dependence on foreign oil, but it's corroding the farmer's bottom line.

Source: WZZM13

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