Ethanol is efficient to produce and should play a positive role in reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil. That's according to a recent USDA report titled: “The Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: An Update,” available on the Web at www.usda.gov/oce.

It concludes that the net energy value of corn ethanol has become positive in recent years, due to advances in conversion and increased efficiency in farm production.

“Critics of ethanol production should take note that USDA has found ethanol produces more energy than it consumes when compared to other products such as petroleum, says National Corn Growers Association President Tim Hume.

The report says that ethanol production is energy efficient because it yields 34% more energy than issued in growing and harvesting the corn and distilling it into ethanol.”