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"There is little question that ethanol production has had many negative environmental impacts, including some of high importance in Minnesota — like groundwater withdrawals for crop irrigation and ethanol processing — that the AP project barely mentions. But it's hard to see a single problem here that is specifically about ethanol as opposed to industrial corn production and the workings of world grain markets. It's about our agriculture system as much as ethanol policies."
The workings of world grain markets and "our agriculture system" as Meador says are being driven first and foremost by growing populations and wealth around the world. More countries than ever are consuming huge amounts of corn, for people but more importantly by animals consumed by people eager for more protein in their diets. The cost-benefit equation that is at work is the feeding and equalization of people around the world versus environmental effects here.
OJ Market ShinesOrange juice prices blasted upward in response to a recent USDA report predicted that Florida’s orange crop this year would be the smallest since 1990. A combination of dry weather and a disease known as citrus greening are the primary causes for the sour production outlook.
Crude Spills LowerCrude oil prices dropped to a five-month low this week at $92.51 per barrel, driven downward by a US government report showing a continued rise in domestic oil supplies. After last week’s 2.6 million barrel gain, supplies stand at 388 million barrels, a record high for this time of year.
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