US ethanol stocks rose 647,000 barrels to a 16-month high of 18.587 million barrels in the week that ended July 25 despite a slight decline in US ethanol production, which dipped 5,000 b/d to 954,000 b/d, US Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday.As I like to do, I will put this into some perspective.
18.587 million barrels of ethanol equals 780,654,000 gallons of ethanol (42 gallons in a barrel).
One bushel of corn (56 pounds) produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol.
So, it took 278,805,000 bushels of corn (780,654,000/2.8) to produce the 18.587 million barrels of ethanol the US has in stock.
The stock of ethanol was produced from multiple corn plantings over time, so in many cases the same acreage was used to produce multiple harvests of corn.
In 2013, the average yield of corn per acre was 158 bushels.
This means, in the aggregate, the number of acres of corn needed to produce the current stock of ethanol was 1,764,588 (278,805,000/158).
How much is that? The total acreage of the US is 1,875,714. Virtually the whole US minus a couple of counties.
How many people could that feed? Just askin'...
Note: Please remember my caveat---the same land would have to be used multiple times to get this amount of ethanol over time. I am not saying it literally takes the whole country. Thanks!