Saturday, February 14, 2015

The US Exports water and land mass in the form of Ethanol. Madness.

I follow several agricultural organizations on Twitter because they provide lots of good info and graphics on things that interest me.

The US Grains Council is one of them.  They posted this graphic on my favorite thing to hate on---Ethanol.

They give a nice breakdown in the first orange bullet point below.  800 million gallons of ethanol exported they represents the use of 286 million bushels of corn (a bushel is about 56 pounds of corn which is between 45 and 60 ears of corn).

Couple of facts I calculated.

1.  How much water does it take to make one gallon of ethanol:  2.5 gallons (split estimate from HERE).

Just for the production of exported ethanol (not including water to grow the corn) we used at least 2 Billion gallons of domestic water.

Two Billion gallons of water would cover the whole State of Maryland in water one foot deep (one acre foot of water covers 3.07 acres of land). That is what we exported in water to make ethanol.

2.  In the US in 2014 the average number of bushels harvested per acre was 170. So, we utilized 1,682,352 acres of land to grow corn just for export. This is a little less than the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

No one except lobbyists and politicians from farm states like ethanol. It is not supported by environmentalists or advocates for the poor (in the US or around the world).

Madness, I say, madness....
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