Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“We don’t raise any corn on the farm but prices for wheat and barley have risen because the corn previously used for livestock feed is being pulled off the market for ethanol. Cattle, sheep, and pigs will eat chopped barley and wheat as well as corn so wheat is now at something like a 30 year high. Ignoring for now the fact that it’s not an all time high, that 30+ years ago wheat sold for more than it does today, we realize that there might be an increase in prosperity of some farmers in the near future. Some people are fantasizing about replacing nearly all our non renewable fuels with “natural” fuels made from grain. The key word in previous sentence is fantasizing. I knew Doug had done the calculations 15 or 20 years ago and realized then farms cannot begin to supply our fuel needs and I asked him to redo the calculations. He sent me this short paper (Microsoft Word .DOC, slightly edited by me). The important information is as follows: Comparing potential alcohol production to current petroleum production, we see that if we stop eating and make ALL of the world grain production into alcohol, we will produce: 1.77e16/1.447e17 [BTU] or 12% of the energy we currently get from petroleum. … …we are falling behind on world food production versus consumption in the last 10 – 15 years, so there are a few billion people that will have to stop eating if the rest of us want to stop using fossil fuels and switch to biofuels. Also on the negative side is the fact that the huge increase in agricultural production that we have seen in the last 50 years is mostly due to fertilizers that are based on natural gas. Modern agricultural production also depends on fossil fuels for farm equipment and transportation. Thus, the “renewable” biofuels are also based in part on fossil fuels.” – Joe Huffman, in The View From North Central Idaho Blog