USDA clarifies reporting on corn consumption for ethnaol

April 25, 2011 |

In Washington, the USDA has changed a category in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from “ethanol for fuel” to “ethanol and byproducts,” with an explanation that corn sent to biorefineries is used to produce ethanol, distillers grains, corn gluten feed, corn gluten meal and corn oil. The report did not mention that the biorefineries also typically produce carbon dioxide, which is marketed as a gas.

Up until this report, the USDA was reporting that 5 billion bushels out of a projected harvest of 12.5, or around 40 percent, were being used for “ethanol for fuel”. In fact, one third of that corn is used for fuel, and the other two thirds is used to create other byproducts as well as CO2. The primary by-product is animal feed, which takes up around one-third of total production, or 39 million tons per year.

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Category: Policy

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