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Ethanol one topic at Soyatech conference

By Robert Frederick, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Using food to make fuel is one of the topics at the Soyatech conference being held in St. Louis Monday and Tuesday.

Some agribusiness leaders acknowledge that without state and federal incentives, corn-to-ethanol production wouldn't make financial sense.

Even if the current 51 cents per gallon federal subsidy for ethanol stays put or grows, Bill Lapp says corn-to-ethanol production won't meet U.S. energy demands.

Lapp consults agribusinesses as president of Advanced Economic Solutions.

If we were to replace 20% of U.S. gasoline market with ethanol, that would take 80% of the U.S. corn crops, Lapp said. So we can do some things, but it's got natural limits.

Many agribusiness leaders expect that by next year, increased demand for corn by ethanol producers will mean higher corn prices, affecting other foods as well.

The Missouri Corn Growers Association says some four thousand products at an average supermarket contain corn.

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