Archive for the ‘Corn Ethanol’ Category

GULF RESTORATION UPDATE-Going Nowhere

May 21, 2011

President Clinton established the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force in 1998 to focus on the sources and reduce the growing size of the oxygen dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It was led by NOAA’s Coastal Estuary group and involved more than 100 scientists from Mississippi Watershed Universities, major government agencies including the Corp of Engineers, USDA, USGS, and EPA. Independent agencies including Woods Hole Oceanographic and The Smithsonian Institution were involved. Chesapeake Bay Institutions including the Marine Science Lab at Wm. and Mary College, and The UM Horn Point Laboratory were involved. The Task Force studied the Mississippi Watershed which includes 41% of the land area if the US. The major recommendations included two specific actions (1) reduce fertilizer application rates by 20% and (2) restore nitrogen reducing fresh water wetlands. Both of these recommendations would have effectively reduced corn yields. The Agribusiness Lobby led by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Fertilizer Institute, The National Corn Growers Association, many Corn State Governors including then Governor Vilsach of Iowa responded by letter in the public review (see ref. #31 under NOAA). Agribusiness captive research departments produced counter reports. The result was that the Task Force dropped their specific call for fertilizer reduction and wetland restoration and reached a much-celebrated best efforts goal to reduce the dead zone by 30% by 2015.

The task force reconvened in 2008 to evaluate progress. The 60 page plus report is full of congratulatory platitudes directed to agriculture and some to other specific industries. But on page 21 they admit that they are unlikely to meet their goal since the dead zone had reached near historic size in 2007. The 2008 report is summarized in the Rabalais interview, our reference #31. Nowhere is there reference to the untreated manure from 4600 hogs and 1700 cattle added every day in the decade between 1997 and 2007. Corn to ethanol production was not mentioned in the report but was mentioned by Ms. Rabalais. Now USDA Secretary Vilsach spoke and promised action. He subsequently mandated increased corn/ ethanol usage in 2011.

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BACON or Repair Bills-How to Use Corn

May 1, 2011

There is increasing conflict over where the corn production in America should go. The attached from the Wall Street Journal is the opinion of the CEO Larry Pope of the Smithfield Company. As you know if you have read our posts, corn is overfertilized by a factor of 3 and is the major cause of nutrient pollution of our rivers and estuaries and it requires denuding vast areas of our Country, which along with short cuts in soil management has destroyed half our topsoil. Certainly after paying this terrible price we should use corn in the most effective way possible. Just a few years ago the amount of corn used for ethanol was insignificant today it may be as much as 40% of the crop.

So where should the corn be used to be most useful? No that’s the wrong question. Where should it go to do the least further damage?

First lets look at corn as a food or as a raw material to produce food.

It is the primary raw material in the production of processed food. These are the bottles, cans, boxes and bags found in the middle of the supermarket that according to former FDA head David Kessler are produced using high fructose corn sugar, corn oil fat, and salt in just the right proportion to make them addictive and a major cause of our obesity epidemic.

The primary use is still as feed for food animals and most goes to feed cattle and hogs. In 2009 and 2010 studies were published which looked at the long term risk factors for various cancers, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. These studies all reached the same conclusion. Corn fed Cattle and Hog based meat including processed meat is the leading risk factor in the initiation and development of these diseases.  These studies are all archived on our site.

But since this post is prompted by Smithfield. Lets look again at writer Mathew Scully’s experience at a Smithfield farrowing facility in North Carolina as described in his book “Dominion”. “ they lie there in iron crates covered in their own urine and excrement with broken legs from trying to escape or just to turn, covered with festering sores, tumors, ulcers, and lesions. They chew maniacally on their bars and chains or lie there like broken beings. When they are due they are dragged to other crates to have their piglets. Then its back to the gestation crate for another four months and so back and forth for seven or eight pregnancies until they finally expire from the punishment”.

Given the poor choices between cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity and equipment repair. I would prefer to continue to pay the cost of our small equipment repair. But a much more appropriate choice would be to see Mr. Pope behind bars where he belongs for animal abuse and killing people who eat his bacon. Of course we no longer do.

To Senators Cardin & Coburn-Please stand up

April 5, 2011

I am writing to you because you had the courage to stand up to The American Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, the Corn Growers Association and the various meat and dairy producers in opposing continuation of ethanol tax credits. The Agribusiness Lobby has successfully opposed every environmental restoration effort since President Clinton’s blue ribbon Gulf Hypoxia Task Force recommended fertilizer application reductions in 2000. They have recently successfully opposed Maryland Governor O’Malley’s initiative to control CAFO manure, regulate septic systems and even to plant trees. This lobby represents only Industrial Meat and Dairy Producers. They do not represent the growing number of sustainable/organic meat, dairy and plant based producers.

In March of 2009 the National Cancer Institute epidemiology study of the eating habits of 500 thousand 50 to 70 year olds revealed that daily consumption of modest amounts of pork, beef, lamb or goat increased chances of early death by 30%. In 2010 studies by the World Cancer Research fund/ American Institute for Cancer Research, which included 100 Universities and cancer research groups, studied all of the Worlds cancer research and concluded that we should avoid red meat and processed meat the primary product of the Agribusiness Lobby and eat more plant products advocated by organic and sustainable farmers. The Cardiologist who chaired the evaluation panel stated that the same issues that produce cancers produce America’s number one killer, heart disease. Harvard’s 3-decade-old Nurses Health Study also published in 2010 confirmed this. Health care cost in the US are the highest in the world and are primarily caused by treating these and related diseases.

So now we have the Agribusiness Lobby producing products causing massive water and air pollution, the destruction of half of the Nations topsoil, massive animal abuse, but also the primary cause of the Nations out of control health care cost. When is somebody going to stand up to this lobby and say enough is enough. Perhaps the two of you are that somebody.

Ethanol Scam-Kudos to Cardin & Coburn

March 12, 2011

The Washington Times 6:54 p.m., Thursday, March 10, 2011

As a new slate of presidential candidates prepare to pander to Iowa voters by forcing the rest of the country to pump corn into their gas tanks, a bipartisan backlash is building. Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, and Sen. Ben Cardin, Maryland Democrat, teamed up Wednesday to introduce legislation to eliminate the 45-cents- per-gallon ethanol tax credit doled out to blenders of this unnecessary and inefficient gasoline additive that costs taxpayers $5.7 billion a year.

With only 68 percent of the energy content of gasoline, ethanol does nothing to improve fuel efficiency or make cars run better. A 2008 study by researchers with Princeton University and the Woods Hole Research Center found it didn’t even help the environment. Those who believe in the global-warming myth won’t be pleased to learn that ethanol programs encourage farmers to convert forests and grassland into space to grow highly lucrative, subsidized crops. The same market distortion pushes up prices throughout the food chain, provoking shortages in poorer nations.

It’s bad for cars, it’s bad for the environment and it’s bad for the poor. That’s why groups as diverse as Americans for Limited Government and the American Meat Institute have joined the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth in opposing ethanol.

In addition to ending the subsidy, Congress must overturn an Environmental Protection Agency decision

3/12/11 9:20 AMEDITORIAL: End ethanol subsidies – Washington Times

Boosting the allowable ethanol level in gasoline from 10 to 15 percent. Most vehicles on the road today are not designed to run on an overdose of corn. Such blends can be fatal to the engines in small equipment like lawn mowers. The EPA decision is the equivalent of a mandate because the George W. Bush administration and Congress guaranteed that Americans would be forced to buy 14 billion gallons of ethanol from Big Corn.

It’s time to end the corporate welfare and pull the plug on shameless politicians attempting to buy Midwestern votes with other people’s money

 

Focus on Ethanol-Not what they Want!

January 26, 2011

This letter to the editor of the local Star Democrat was published on 1/26/11

Industrialization of agriculture has been hugely successful if judged by the standards of industrialization in that it has produced plenty of cheap animal food for humans. In so doing the production process has abused our animals, destroyed our topsoil, destroyed Chesapeake Bay, and most other rivers and Estuaries, and now we know that most of the food, particularly the red meat is destroying our health.

The results of Industrialization processes are almost instantaneous when applied to cars, weapons systems or moon rockets but when applied to human food, health and the environment, results are delayed by many decades. It took at least 3 decades for underwater grass to begin to disappear in Chesapeake Bay after chemical nitrogen application rates were multiplied to raise field corn to produce CAFO chickens and other food animals. The same delay occurred with oxygen dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide. It took decades for short cuts in soil management (2- crop or less soil management systems) to show up in National Soil depletion numbers. The human body is the ultimate in adaptative design. When industrialization made meat available and affordable most people in affluent societies switched to primary meat based diets particularly in the U.S. It took 6 decades for health results to appear. Now in 2010 these results have appeared and have been documented in studies by the World Cancer Research Fund and Harvard University’s long term Nurses Health Study. These studies and other studies of severe public health issues by Johns Hopkins School of Public Hearth show that cancer. heart disease are the result of the dominance of animal food in our diets. All these studies can be found on our website.

Don Kerstetter at fixingourfood.com

America’s Largest Problems-State of the Union

January 25, 2011

Thoughts before the State of the Union address:

On the eve of the State of the Union address, it is time to focus on the biggest problems facing the Country. Certainly on the list is healthcare cost. But will it be  mentioned in context with the American red meat and sugar based diet. Certainly the President with access to the Countries knowledge base is familiar with the World Cancer Study and the Harvard Nurses Health study recently published which connect the American red meat diet to these diseases. Certainly the President and his wife are aware that sugar and obesity are connected. Certainly the President is aware that corn is the common denominator between these products. But the President is also aware that Iowa is not yet ready to renounce corn and that Francis Thicke’s new vision for Iowa agriculture lost the recent election for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. But Francis got a surprising 38% of the vote. Al Gore recently admitted that Corn Ethanol is a bad idea but that he had to support it to win in Iowa. We know that the President’s focus is on the 2012 elections and once again because  Iowa will be among those casting the first vote it will be very hard for him to face America’ largest problem, CORN. If he does he deserves our support.

Comments after the speech

I conclude that he doesn’t have a clue about our food system disaster. He has mentioned that  living in the White White House is like living in a bubble but he does have a Secretary of Health and Welfare. I wonder if she is as clueless?

 

 

TOM HORTON & DRK-The Tragic Story of Corn

January 17, 2011

Tom Horton’s excellent article which appeared in Chesapeake Bay Magazine in November of 2010 is the start of the corn story but the full story includes not only the loss of Chesapeake Bay, the loss of the Nations Health, but how our public health and safety is being corrupted on a massive scale.

THE CORN QUESTION BY TOM HORTON

It was a bitter pill to swallow last year when Jenny and I had to give up our four-stroke Honda outboard with less than 200 hours on it. The engines carburetor simply could not handle the gunk build–caused by ethanol– that is now legally required in all but a few Counties around the Bay.                                                             I was doubly griped because of the source of the ethanol, which is a far bigger problem than the ubiquitous gasoline additive itself. I speak of corn. It’s a pretty sight to see it growing across Chesapeake region farms and to watch each fall as combine’s shell it into mountains of grain. And corn based ethanol is certainly safer than what it replaced—MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), a gas additive that is now banned as a suspected carcinogen.

But those who work with water quality around the Bay and coastal waters worldwide know the dark side of corn all too well. As we currently grow it corn is horribly polluting. To realize the high yielding potential of modern corn hybrids, growers must supply it with lots of nitrogen fertilizer. Even when farmers supply it with only what their crops needs, corn can only utilize about 37% of the applied nitrogen—even less in drought conditions. The rest ends up in ground water where substantial amounts eventually seep into the Chesapeake Bay.

In the Bay nitrogen grows excessive algae, which decompose and sucks life-giving oxygen from the water. The dead algae also cloud the water, shading out vital light from underwater grasses that provide habitat for a variety of aquatic life. The two million or so acres of corn grown across the Chesapeake’s six-state watershed are major reason agriculture remains the single largest source of water pollution for the Bay. The story’s the same for the Gulf of Mexico. Its oxygen deprived “dead zone” is the size of the State of New Jersey some years, courtesy of the nitrogen that washes down the Mississippi from the Midwest, which grows the bulk of the Nations 85 to 90 million acres of corn.

Soaring demand for corn to supply government subsidized ethanol plants a few years ago caused Bay region farmers to convert about 200,000 acres of land from mostly low polluting uses like hay and pasture, to additional corn acreage, adding millions of pounds of pollution to the Bay. While ethanol demand has since slumped and corn acreage decreased slightly, ethanol is here to stay, taking a quarter of the US corn crop, a force for keeping more land in corn.

You could have hardly concocted a worse response than corn based ethanol to start weaning the US from dependence on petroleum (ethanol is usually 10% of the fuel in your tank nowadays). Making the additive from corn is so energy intensive that we get at best, about 25% more energy from a gallon than the energy it takes to produce it. And a gallon of ethanol powers a car about two-thirds as far as a gallon of pure gasoline.

It is considerably more efficient to refine ethanol from sugar cane, which is grown across the southern U.S.; but for that crop the Federal subsidies favor sugar not ethanol, so cane growers are not inclined to get into the fuel business.

A byproduct of making corn ethanol called distillers grains is now being widely fed to dairy cattle in the Chesapeake region. This makes their manure already a pollution problem even more potent (higher in phosphorous which stimulates algal growth in the water)

We need to phase out subsidies for making ethanol from corn and step up research on how to make it from other less polluting plants like switchgrass. Even more important, we can start right now growing corn and other polluting crops like soybeans in less polluting ways. A proven solution is to follow the fall harvest with winter “cover crops”— grains like oats and rye grown solely to suck up excess nitrogen before it runs into the waterways. Maryland farmers with financial assistance from State taxpayers are putting large acreages into winter cover crops. Virginia and Pennsylvania are doing far less, as are Midwestern farm states.

Meanwhile, back on the boat, we’ve been doing ok with ethanol in our new outboard a Mercury direct injection two stroke. But don’t let anyone tell you that this is a good route to energy independence. Corn, The way we grow most of it now, only looks green.                      Tom Horton

Website manager Don Kerstetter picks up the story from here: I tried to find the current uses of field corn from USDA. They must know since they keep meticulous records on everything but they would not tell me. A paper on biofuels published by Great Lakes Bioenergy research Center in September 2010 stated that 80% of total corn production in the U.S. is used to feed animals and most of it goes to feed ruminants (cattle).

Scientists including pasture farmer Francis Thicke reporting in his excellent book “A New Vision for Iowa Agriculture”, generally believe that the U. S. has lost half its topsoil since Industrial Agriculture began following World War II. The USDA recommends a minimum 3-crop system for row crops plus annual winter cover crops. Grain farmers use 2 crop rotations at best and many use mono-cropping in the Midwest. The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), which is responsible for preserving the nations topsoil, allows grain farmers to take short cuts in soil management on a massive scale in the U.S. where bad soil management practices have been institutionalized by grain farmers while many in mainstream academia with knowledge of good soil management practice raise no objection.             The Thousands of Concentrated Animal Feed Operation (CAFO) facilities shown on our Factory Farm Map are conceptually incompatible with public safety and public health, and are contaminating aquifers with nitrate, soil and air with deadly antibiotic resistant pathogens and contaminating the food animals themselves with diseases.  Since The Johns Hopkins School of public health published the Pew Commission report on farm animals in 2008 they have been advocates for major changes most ignored by local State and Federal officials. They describe these facilities as perfect pathogen incubators. Please read their report (our reference #21). These facilities produce 3 times more manure all more dangerous because of antibiotic resistant pathogens than human manure without any treatment requirement.

When these facilities first started farmers were offered reasonable contracts. Now that farmers have mortgaged themselves to build the facilities the Integrators with little competition have reduced payments and forced upgrades leaving farmers stuck with bad economics which has adversly affected the economics of local communities. A glance at the National Factory Farm Map confirms that both dairy and beef cattle dominate land use but in some areas including areas of Iowa, North Carolina and Pennsylvania Hogs are dominant. But the environmental and economic destruction of rural communities is just the tip of the iceburg.                                       Studies published in 2010 by the World Cancer Research Fund and The American Institute for Cancer Research show that red meat (beef, pork, lamb, and goat) is a primary cause for increased cancer risk. Not only is it a convincing increased risk for colorectum cancer but suggestive for 6 other cancer types.                           Also in 2010 Harvard University published the first results of the Nurses Health Study involving 84,000 nurses, which began in1976. They also found that red meat was the major cause of Coronary Heart Disease. Harvard Universities’ Dr Walter Willett who was involved with both studies indicates that soon to be released studies on diabetes and stroke will show similar results. He also reports that other studies at Harvard show that adolescents and people in early adulthood are particularly vulnerable to red meat the dominant CAFO product. So we have an agriculture production system focused on meat and dairy which is taking shortcuts, causing the destruction of our most important natural resources, and also increasing the risk of our dominant diseases and escalating health care cost.

Does it make any sense to continue destroying our most important Natural Resources, and to systematically abuse our food animals (see our animal abuse post) to produce products that are this destructive? By directly subsidizing corn, by failure to enforce its own soil management guidelines, by failure to enforce current public safety laws and animal abuse laws  government at all levels is the great enabler of this flawed system                                                                                                              But there is reason for hope. Many people particularly young people are increasingly attracted to Vegan restaurants and vegan home cooking, not because of these issues but because the food is tastier, more satisfying, and exciting than animal based food. (see our post on Horizons restaurant in Philadelphia). There are two other advantages to eating a plant based diet:

1.The food is less expensive

2. It takes 14 times less land to eat the plant directly as opposed to having an animal eat the plant and then eating the animal. Our fast growing population will not have sufficient land to support this inefficient system.

ANIMAL FACTORIES- Anti-Nature? You Judge!

January 6, 2011

Tom Horton wrote an excellent article in the November issue of Chesapeake Bay Magazine describing corn production as the major cause of nutrient pollution in the US primarily responsible for destroying most rivers and major estuaries such as the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay as species habitat. He also cited Federally subsidized corn ethanol as a destroyer of engines. He did not mention short cuts in soil management that have squandered half of the nations topsoil according to some scientists.

But the story of  corn does not end there. Eighty percent of the corn goes to feed animals in Animal Factories( CAFOs) which an increasing number of farmers are opposing because of the economic and environmental damage caused to them and their communities. Their story is told in David Kirby’s book Animal Factory (see animal abuse post) which has led these farmers to start a web site, Socially Responsible Agriculture, and offer their services advising communities on how to avoid being exposed to these facilities. Farmers in Kirby’s book refer to CAFO’s as anti-nature. Is nature fighting back?

1. In the most comprehensive review of the world’s research on Cancer Prevention, The World Cancer Research Fund & The American Institute for Cancer Research published their report (see cancer & heart disease archive) by 200+ researchers and doctors. Their recommendations were #1 eat a plant based diet and #2 avoid red meat (beef pork. lamb and goat) plus dairy and processed meat.The Factory Animal Map shows that red meat and dairy factory locations dominate many landscapes.

2.In June 2010 Harvard University published it’s decades long study (see summary archived under heart disease) on Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Conclusion: high red meat intake increases risk of coronary heart disease and CHD risk can be reduced by shifting sources of protein in the US diet. The Head of their nutrition department has advised that similar results will be published shortly for diabetes and stroke and that people in adolescence and young adults are particularly vulnerable.

3. People living in or traveling through an area within 3 miles of CAFO facilities are exposed to deadly antibiotic resistant pathogens including MRSA (the hospital pathogen) which contaminates workers, neighbors, and hospitals. MRSA kills more people each year than the aids virus. (See our reference #21 ). We have notified MDE of an elementary school within this distance with hi-speed fans blowing pathogens in its direction. MDE tells us they only respond if there is an odor complaint.

4. CAFO’s produce 3 times more manure nationwide than humans, none treated, and it is many times more dangerous due to feed additives which include antibiotics, growth hormones, appetite enhancers such as arsenic, and distillers grain. The manure, also very high in phosphorous, is spread on farm fields close to these facilities exposing not only humans close by but the products that are grown in these fields.

5. Testing of aquifers under two of these facilities on the Delmarva Peninsula by The Maryland Department of Environment showed that  levels of nitrate already elevated many times over the normal background level of 0,3 mg/l  by adjacent corn field fertilizer over-application was as high as 80mg/l or 200 times the normal background level.

6. Treatment of animals in CAFO facilities was described very well by conservative writer Mathew Scully quoted in our animal abuse post. This treatment ranges from negating life as an animal being to the physical abuse by minimum wage workers trying to stay employed and given the impossible task of getting very large animals to do what their instincts and the terrorized screams of their fellow beings tell them they should not do. No being deserves this treatment.

Government officials at all levels Local, State, and including the Congress of the United States are subsidizing this broken agricultural/ meat & dairy production system  not only with cash subsidies but more importantly providing hidden subsidy by ignoring clean air and water laws, animal abuse laws, USDA guidelines for soil management all adding up to support of the two most deadly killers of its citizens heart disease and cancer. Indeed nature is effectively fighting back.

Does it make any sense for anyone to eat meat laced with unhealthy additives, the bulk of it the cause of major diseases, and all of it destroying our most important natural resources?

There was a time when my answer might have been different but now that I have been exposed to high quality plant food prepared by top chefs my answer is absolutely it makes no sense at all.

Francis Thicke- Grass Farmer Runs for AG Sec.

October 15, 2010

Francis Thicke is a grass based dairy farmer and also certified organic farmer. He has written an excellent book on sustainable agriculture which includes a detailed technical explanation of the pyrolysis of animal manure and many other sustainable practices that must be adopted if industrial agriculture is ever to be compatible with air quality, water quality and human health. This in itself is not unusual because many farmers have reached the same conclusions as Francis Thicke. What is unusual is that Mr. Thicke is running for Agricultural Secretary in the State of Iowa, which many of us look at as the flagship of unsustainable agriculture. There are many interesting tapes on this post including a debate between Mr. Thicke and his opponent the current Secretary of Agriculture and a corn and soybean farmer. Sustainable agricultural advocates Michael Pollan, and farmer Joel Salatin are also taped. Iowans are just beginning to become aware of the destruction caused by industrial agriculture despite the fact that their water treatment plant in DesMoines was forced to install the worlds largest nitrate treatment plant years ago. Many other wells and water supplies are severely affected not only by nitrate but also by pathogens, antibiotics, arsenic, growth hormones and etc. The nitrate level at this plant is 5 times that of our Choptank River in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. However we are on our way to catching Iowa with nitrogen pollution up 63% in the last 8 years. I did have the opportunity to speak to Mrs. Vilsack at a recent Red Cross fund raiser and expressed my admiration for Mr. Thicke a fellow Democrat. Her husband Tom is US. Secretary of Agriculture and former Governor of Iowa. You will recall that he opposed the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force fertilizer reduction recommendation in 2000. She said that Mr. Thicke would not win. I sent him another donation when I heard that. Nothing could be more positive for the future of food and agriculture than a Thicke win or even a close election in Iowa.

ETHANOL- Another Washington Boondoggle

June 26, 2010

I just returned from Eastern Service in Cambridge MD. without our 1-year-old Husqvarna chain saw. David Stevens, the owner, told me that the cylinders inside were so badly scored that it was not worth repairing. He said that they are finding that ethanol additive is causing the gas and oil to separate and that people unknowingly are running their small motors without lubrication. He further stated that most of his shop work is directly caused by ethanol additive in fuel. Recent articles in The Classic Car Club Magazine and AAA magazine cite problems with conventional large gasoline engines. Antique car collectors tend to allow their vehicles to sit without starting the engine for periods of time and are particularly vulnerable.

Seldom discussed is the effect of increased corn production on water quality. Corn has the highest nitrogen need of most any crop as it is grown today by industrial agriculture. At the same time it is among the lowest in uptake efficiency of any crop. In an average rainfall year corn uses about one third (1/3) of the applied nitrogen two thirds (2/3) goes into aquifers or directly into surface water, Even more is unused by the crops in drought years. Excess fertilizer applied to corn is the principle cause of oxygen deficiency in most rivers and estuaries in the Country and is killing the water species. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Gulf of Mexico where Hypoxia has increased due to corn based ethanol (see our references for a taped interview with a Gulf scientists and more about ethanol in an article “The great ethanol Scam” in BusinessWeek magazine)

Studies are mixed on whether there is any fossil fuel usage advantage in using ethanol fuel additive since corn production is driven by oil based chemical fertilizer, weed/pest killers and oil fueled farm equipment. If there is an advantage it is slight compared to the damage it is causing as a fuel additive. Do you want your tax money spent to subsidize ethanol fuel additive or do you even want ethanol mandated in fuel? The ethanol lobby is trying to increase the mandated amount added to fuel. Is that what you want?