Farmers Anticipate Good Corn Futures

Last week the U.S. House and Senate approved a compromise energy bill. The bill now awaits the President's signature.

The legislation would almost double the size of the nation's ethanol industry.

You need corn to make ethanol. That means farmers who plant corn could see big returns on their crops.

Mike Dummer farms about 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans in Holmen, in west-central Wisconsin.

He sells some of his crop into the biomass business.

"It's sustainable, it's crops that are grown each year in this state," says Dummer, "We don't just create a mine and mine it out, it's a renewable sustainable energy; it's a very good idea."

That idea is now being expanded at the federal level, meaning the amount of ethanol produced and used in the U.S. will double.

"We have four ethanol plants already in production, they're looking for markets," says Tom Thieding, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Executive Director of Public Relations, "Farmers are looking to add value to their product, we have local economies, you have jobs created now because of this, so it's really a win across the state."

The goal is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

But Thieding says now the state needs to follow through with an ethanol requirement.

"About 45% of fuel has ethanol in it, let's put it in more fuel, let's follow through with the national plan and now have a state energy plan and utilize that locally produced fuel."

Putting more money into the local economy and bringing up farmers' bottom line.

"Supply and demand are the two principal criteria that determines the value of a commodity," says Dummer, "Anytime you can significantly increase the demand side of it you automatically potentially increase the value of that commodity."

This year 20% of Wisconsin's corn crop will be processed into ethanol, and our ethanol use replaces nearly 150,000 barrels of fuel a day.

The proposed state bills would expand ethanol up to 10% in 87 octane blends.


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