Sunday, May 9, 2010

Midwest Freeze Impacts Corn Crop

As the greenies push for more and more bio-fuels, the weather is not cooperating. This weekend saw a freeze across much of the U.S. Midwest, which will likely reduce the corn crop this year. According to this report, the freeze "may stunt ... corn that has begun to emerge."

Farmers have made heroic efforts this year to plant their crops, and are ahead of the average pace in percent of total crops planted for this date. That is not all good, though, when a late freeze occurs and just-emerging plants are blasted by the cold air. Corn futures prices will likely increase as the extent of the damage is assessed.

The USA is not alone in having weather-related crop troubles, as this report states that China "may increase purchases from the U.S. as cold, wet weather delays planting in the Asian nation."

Meanwhile, yet another winter storm is blasting northern California, with another 6 to 7 inches of snow expected to fall. While this is excellent news for the ski resorts, and for water supplies in the state, it is not consistent with the dire warnings of heat waves and droughts that climate warmists claim are the result of increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere due to man's consumption of fossil fuels. California's AB 32 law requires more low-carbon fuels, e.g. ethanol, to be blended into gasoline. As corn prices rise, so does the price of ethanol and therefore, gasoline. Higher prices for gasoline hurt everyone.

One good thing about bad policy and bad laws, though, is that they can be changed when they are impossible to enforce, or when their actual results are obviously and painfully detrimental to a significant portion of the electorate. As farmers endure difficult growing conditions, the corn will not be there for making ethanol. The government mandates for ethanol will not be met, and the regulations will be changed.

Of course, we could always make ethanol out of ethylene, which is produced from oil. Anybody want to take bets on that?

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California

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