AMES, Iowa—Expansion of ethanol production in Iowa raises many questions about corn exports and imports and the use of byproducts for livestock feed.
“The infrastructure changes necessary to support a major shift from crops for feed and food to crops for fuel could have an impact on rural jobs second only in magnitude to the changes in farming seen over the last half century,” said Arne Hallam, chair, Iowa State University (ISU) Department of Economics.
Hallam’s department is planning a statewide webcast and mini-conference entitled “Perspectives on Present and Future Corn-Based Ethanol Industry.” It is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Ames. The webcast will be available at ISU Extension offices throughout the state. The primary emphasis will be the economic situation and potential economic impacts associated with the corn-based ethanol industry.
“Experts with a variety of perspectives will address the current state of the corn ethanol complex and its near-term prospects and challenges,” said Hallam. “No matter how you consider the issues, Iowa agriculture is in for a wild ride over the next five years.”
Five main topics on the corn-based ethanol industry will be covered, including:
* Overview of the current industry. Ethanol's share of the gasoline market, cost and supply implications and the share of corn crop used for ethanol production are some of the issues to be covered.
* Industry expansion. Along with discussions on financing and planning increased capacities, a major issue discussed will be the structure of the ethanol, feed and livestock industries during the transition period that will occur over the next three to five years and the long run implications of changes in these sectors on the Iowa agricultural economy.
* Global and local impact on corn and oilseed markets, including food, feed and fuel. The impact of new, higher grain prices on domestic and international food prices and the market implications of crop failures and changing world markets will be analyzed in this section.
* Livestock feeding and the implications of using high protein corn co-products on livestock and the nutritional, environmental and economic impacts that may arise.
* Obstacles of expanding the corn-based ethanol industry related to transportation, warehousing and logistics infrastructure.
Several ISU economists will contribute to these discussions including John Miranowski, John Lawrence, Robert Wisner, Dermot Hayes, Robert Jolly, Roger Ginder and Paul Gallagher.
Those interested in attending the conference should contact their local ISU Extension office for viewing locations and to register. A fee will be collected at the door.
As of 1 p.m., Oct. 25, the 62 ISU Extension county offices listed below had signed up to carry this program. This list will be reviewed and updated weekly until Nov. 13.
Buena Vista County
Cerro Gordo County
Palo Alto County