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Another Drought in 2013 could Devastate the US Ethanol Industry

By James Burgess | Mon, 11 February 2013 22:52 | 2

Last year’s drought across the US is being felt by the ethanol industry as the corn scarcity has forced 20 ethanol plants to shut down.

The Renewable Fuels Association has released data showing that 20 of the 211 ethanol plants in operation in the US have had to cease production since the beginning of 2012; and they are unlikely to restart operation until after the 2013 corn harvest in August/September.

2012 was predicted to be a bumper year for corn producers, with many more acres than normal planted and record harvests predicted. Unfortunately the drought hit hardest in many of the top corn producing states and as a result 13% less corn was harvested than in 2011.

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Experts don’t expect much more impact to be felt in the industry other than the 20 sites that have already had to close. With millions of barrels of ethanol held in reserve and 191 plants still producing, they are confident that all will be back to normal by the end of the year.

That is unless the drought continues into this year as well, and again causes a disappointing corn crop.

Geoff Cooper, the vice president for research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association, said that, “there’s a lot of anxiety in the industry right now about the drought and a lot of folks watching the weather and hoping and praying this drought is going to break.

If we get back to a normal pattern and normal corn crop, then I think the industry is in good shape, but if this drought persists and it has the same effect on this coming corn crop, then we’ve got a problem.”

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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  • Bruce F on February 13 2013 said:
    I agree Ethanol should be banned. I have a 2004 Honda Accord and get 35 MPG on interstate with pure gas. However with 10% enthanol I get 30 MPG. Thats a 14% less MPG. Ethanol is an alchohol that is hard on metal, seals and rubber parts. It will help ruin your lawn mower, motor boat engine, chain saw engine along with the fuel line, carburetors, fuel injectors, pistons. If you are not sure go down and ask your lawn mower repair shop mechanics or your motor boat mechanics.
    You can find a few gas stations that have pure gas by typing "pure gas stations" in a search engine.
    You might do your own research and find out the truth.
  • American Patriot on February 12 2013 said:
    Ethanol should be banned. It takes more BTUs to make a gallon of ethanol then there is in a gallon of ethanol. We lose six MPG when we put it in our Car. Check it out and see for yourself, Burn a full tank of each. Make sure the tank is EMPTY of ethanol so your gas isn't contaminated with it for a fair test.
    Also if ethanol is so great, why don't they use it to fire their still instead of the dirty old fossil fuel like coal and oil. Because they couldn't make enough to support their own demand!!

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