PUBLIC SUPPORTS ETHANOL USE?

It is interesting to note in your August “My View” all the different people and organizations who don't think corn ethanol has affected food prices. I agree they haven't. Not yet, anyway.

The only food industry that has been able to pass on the tripling in feed costs is the egg industry. The rest of us in turkeys, pork, chicken and beef will eventually get our production under control and the true cost will be passed on to consumers.

In the meantime, we are all losing our butt and many are going out of business. In one year people will be asking what happened, when their food bills truly reflect what the ethanol industry has done to us producers out here.

Also if only the price of corn was up it wouldn't be so bad, but it's so interconnected to all other ingredient prices. All other ingredient prices have followed corn.

I think government agencies don't realize how much they have messed up supply and demand economics. And, I don't agree that $4 gas would become $4.60 without ethanol.?The best efficiency figure I've ever seen is that it takes 1 gal. of fuel to produce 1.2 gal. of ethanol. In addition, E-85 is only 65-70% as efficient as pure gasoline. That's a negative energy balance.
Dick Nelson
Willmar, MN

COMPANY STORE CONCEPT

I really enjoy reading your magazine but I must say I was alarmed when I read the article “Cash Flow Crunch” by John Pocock. The first thing that popped in my mind when I read the article was the stories my granddad use to tell me about the Company Store. Perhaps John Pocock is too young to remember the Company Store concept, but years ago the Company Store solved all the sharecroppers' problems by providing financing for the crops they were growing and a market for the crops once they were produced.

Once you got into the Company Store program you gave up all other options for buying inputs and marketing your crops. A dependence on the company store was formed, and sometimes the main goal of the producer went from being profitable to getting ahead enough to get out of the Company Store's control.

The biggest difference I see in my granddad's story and yours is almost every little town had its own Company Store in each community and now the Company Stores are global.

Although I enjoy reading your magazine I must say it bothers me to see this kind of option being promoted as a solution to a cash flow crisis. God help us all if we fail to learn from history.
Cecil R. Byrum
Windsor, VA

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