October 27, 2011

OWH: Corn. Ethanol. Livestock. A prosperous farming combination

An editorial in the Omaha World Herald earlier this week did a great job of pointing out the incredible synergy between corn, ethanol and livestock production.

The basis for the editorial was a report from the Nebraska Business Forecast Council that said farm income in the state may reach a record this year and remain strong.

The World Herald's editorial goes on to talk about the ethanol industry and the role it plays in the state, particularly the production of distillers grains by ethanol plants and the opportunity that provides for cattle producers and the state as a whole:

In 2007, an article in the Sunday World-Herald suggested a possible shift in cattle feeding from Texas to the Midlands. That now may be coming to pass, and the availability of distillers grains for cattle feed could be a factor.
Nebraska already ranks second in cash receipts for cattle and calves and is moving up fast on top-ranked Texas. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics for 2010, third-place Kansas had $6.5 billion in receipts. Second-place Nebraska had $7.2 billion, while Texas took in $7.7 billion.

The benefits to ethanol plants from selling byproducts are clear, but there are other advantages that spread throughout Nebraska. Farming communities and their ag-related businesses prosper when corn is high and ethanol plants are busy and profitable. So do other businesses in small-town Nebraska.
And that means jobs in many sectors of the economy – jobs that breathe life into rural communities.

As the editorial concludes:
Nebraska doesn't lead the nation in either ethanol, cattle or corn. But the way the three work together can mean greater national prominence and more prosperity for the entire state.

No comments:

Post a Comment