Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming

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"As Ethanol Takes Its First Steps, Congress Proposes a Giant Leap"
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/18/washington/18ethanol.html?th&emc=th = http://tinyurl.com/3dbq9f (TinyUrl in case first link breaks).

Some excerpts from the article:
"Producing about seven billion gallons of ethanol a year from corn has
reshaped agricultural markets and sent corn prices soaring. Congress
wants to double that level of production, to 15 billion gallons."
...
"The new legislation would OBLIGE farmers to grow NEW crops in new ways,
...". (CAPS are my emphasis)

I haven't read the bill, but that last sentence sounds like farmers who
grow barley, for instance, could be OBLIGED to grow corn as a NEW crop.
  Sounds completely un-American to me and I don't see how the government
can do such a thing, but then maybe they're referring to a little arm
twisting -- e.g., 'if you want your farm subsidy over here ... or your
tax credit over there ... then you will grow corn for ethanol'.

And then this second article ...
"Food and Fuel Compete for Land"
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/18/business/18food.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th

= http://tinyurl.com/yvnc37 (TinyUrl in case first link breaks).

Excerpts:
"In Oregon, Jack Joyce, the owner of Rogue Ales, said the cost of barley
malt has soared 88 percent this year."
...
"Last week, the Senate voted 86 to 8 for a new energy bill containing
expanded ethanol mandates, and the House is expected to follow suit this
week."

So, it looks to me like our higher barley prices are probably here to
stay.  I don't know whether ethanol production is a good idea or not,
but I also worry about the impact on our land and water resources.  I
was watching a TV show just last week that was speaking about our water
crisis, our diminishing aquafers, the possibility of a long-term
drought, and that corn needs heavy irrigation compared to other grains
like wheat (didn't menton barley).  I'm no farmer, so I don't know how
they compare.  I'd just hate to wake up ten years from now in the midst
of another dust bowl where we can't irrigate and produce even enough
food to eat, let alone to make ethanol.

My son insists that if we would grow hemp (NOT the kind with THC), that
we could produce FAR more energy than with corn, but the U.S. bans the
growth of hemp, unlike Canada (supposedly) and other nations.  It just
seems that our legislators in Washington always have their heads up
their asses.

Cheers ... but not much to be cheerful about with that news.

Bill Velek - PERSONAL sites = www.velek.com & www.2plus2is4.com
780+ homebrewer group just for Equipment: www.tinyurl.com/axuol
630+ just for Growing Hops/Herbs/Grains: www.tinyurl.com/3au2uv
NEW group just for Homebrewing Supplies: www.tinyurl.com/2wnang
Join 'Homebrewers' to Help Cure Disease: www.tinyurl.com/yjlnyv

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming



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IMO - Hemp w/o THC, is like Coffee w/o Caffeine, is like Homebrew w/o
alcohol; none of which make any sense to me.    :)      j/k   just couldn't
resist !



Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


Corn ethanol is bad news.  When you figure out the amount of energy that
goes into getting the ethanol, the deal doesn't make much sense.
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Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


On Tue, 18 Dec 2007 18:23:34 GMT, "Brian Bartz"

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===============
Indeed, from a strictly "up front" or current effeciency/economic
standpoint it does not, however not everything is [or should be]
evaluated on the factors of current "efficiency" and "economics."

First: from a national defense perspective, ethanol production is
domestic under US control, and establishes a secure fuel supply.

Second: the money generated stays and circulates in the US
economy rather than contributing to the current account trade
deficit/debt.

Third: much of the apparent cost is simply the transfer of
existing support payments for not growing corn to subsidy
payments for growing corn, and the production of alcohol.

Fourth: more of the apparent additional cost is simply the
transfer of rural economic development funding and other costs to
a productive activity such as corn [and other crop production]
and fermentation.

FWIW -- the reason we are not seeing *BIG* reductions in the
agricultural support payments is political, not market.  Most of
the people receiving the bulk of the funds are absentee owners,
have never and never intend to produce a single ear of corn, but
are experts in "milking the system" [but not the cows].

Fifth: the fermentation infrastructure is basic to the
bio-generation of other commodities such as plastics and other
precursors currently produced from petroleum from renewable
resources such as corn and soya.

Sixth: the implementation of the current single stage process
establishes the first part of the more efficient two step
process, and avoids the indefinite delay of attempting to find
the "perfect" solution.  As noted in many engineering courses
"the better is the enemy of the good." conversion of the single
state fermentation process can be greatly improved by
implementation of a  two stage process which uses a fungus to
decompose the cellulose and starches to sugars, and yeast to
convert the sugars to alcohol. This will allow the use of high
cellulose crops and agricultural wastes, with much higher
efficiencies and lower costs.

Seventh:    extensive ethanol fermentation and other
bio-generation provides a very significant "vent for value" of
currently grossly undervalued US assets such as farmland,
agricultural equipment, and possibly most critical the
agricultural expertise of our farmers.

Eighth:  extensive energy and precursor feed stock production by
fermentation of renewable resources can reverse the depopulation
of the countryside with the concurrent [cancerous] growth of the
large metro areas with excessive operating costs/cost-of living
and [highly] toxic life styles/environments [e.g. drug culture].
Much of small-town and rural America still has very affordable
housing and under-utilized infrastructure such as schools, as
well as a much healthier social environment and higher "quality
of life" factors.

Ninth:  Yeast fermentation provides an area where your home
brewing skills and knowledge [e.g. the importance of sanitation,
yeast culture, temperature control] can be applied if you wish to
do so.  Saki fermenters are already familiar with the two stage
fungus/yeast process.

There are a number of other good reasons but this is an
excessively long response already.  What do the other posters
suggest?



Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


F. George McDuffee wrote:
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[snip]

Interesting -- but aren't there crops significantly 'denser' in energy
than corn? I'm thinking specifically of sugar cane here. Or is corn king
because we have more suitable land for growing corn than cane?

--
(Replies: cleanse my address of the Mark of the Beast!)

Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web:
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Buy several copies today!

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


On Tue, 18 Dec 2007 14:34:28 -0600, The Artist Formerly Known as

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==============
Indeed there are, but again "the better is the enemy of the
good."  

There are several potential high cellulose crops that
should/would be better for two stage fermentation process [e.g
fungus for cellulose/starch => sugar and yeast for sugar =>
alcohol] in that these will grow on marginal land where corn will
not.

Other improvements are the use of solar power to distill the
alcohol.

Alcohol will not fully substituent for the existing gasoline
supplies, but in an embargo situation will allow critical
services such as the emergency services [police/fire/medical],
armed forces, and essential transportation of items such as
medical supplies and food to be maintained.

Another point is that the CO2 generated by alcohol combustion [if
any] has been captured in large part from the atmosphere, and
should not increase the greenhouse gasses (if this is really a
factor).

We can wait and wait and wait some more for a perfect solution
with no downside [which will never arrive], or we can go with
what we know works, and improve it as we go along.  Waiting for
the perfect solution, which will never arrive, will result in the
emergency imposition of some form of syn-fuels, with minimal
opportunity for planning, review/evaluation and cost containment.



Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


F. George McDuffee wrote:
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While I love aphorisms as much as the next guy, yours doesn't really
apply in the case of sugar cane; no new technology or infrastructure
(relative to what would be required for the exploitation of corn) would
be required for cane. So why corn?


--
(Replies: cleanse my address of the Mark of the Beast!)

Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web:
http://www.swampgas.com/robotics/rover.html
Coauthor with Dennis Clark of "Building Robot Drive Trains".
Buy several copies today!

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


On Wed, 19 Dec 2007 09:12:39 -0600, The Artist Formerly Known as

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=============
It applies exactly.  

Listen to the arguments: -- cane would be better -- lets wait.
No- prairie grass would be better lets wait.  No
bio-engineered/GM plants would be better -- lets wait.  And the
favorite excuse by the oil companies "we haven't pumped all the
oil out of the ground -- lets wait."  These may indeed be
"better" but are preventing the implementation of the good.

There is not now, never has been, nor ever will be a perfect
"magic" solution that would supply an limitless supply of free
non-poluting fuel/energy, i.e. perpetual motion, with no
undesirable effects.  The trick is to maximize the benefits for
the majority while minimizing the liabilities/drawbacks.  To mix
the metaphors -- some one's ox is bound to get gored.  

What is important is to get infrastructure in place and large
scale pilot bio- and syn- projects running  to provide expertise
for full scale implementation as required, and some minimal level
of emergency fuel supplies for critical transportation needs such
as emergency services and food.  

While these programs/projects may indeed be expensive, it will be
orders of magnitude less expensive that paying extortionate
prices (which may involve far more than money such as blackmail
over American foreign policy) for imported oil, and/or fighting
WW-III over "energy."

The US federal government has a long history of financing and
promoting advancements in technology such as the canals,
railroads, aircraft, and atomic/nuclear energy.  In the process
of doing so, they have made selected individuals rich, but in the
aggregate have also "promoted the general welfare."  

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===============
#1 The US raises a lot of corn and the price has been depressed,
in many cases below the fully expensed "cost of production,"
which includes depreciation, opportunity cost of capital, and the
value of the farmers' labor, even at minimum wage.

#2 There is much more land suitable for raising corn than raising
sugar cane.

#3 Many more people know how to raise corn [and have the
equipment] than sugar cane.

#4. We can shift the price support and other programs for not
growing corn to growing corn and get something for that money.

#5. Although it may require expansion, we have an existing system
for handling/transporting large volumes of corn in most areas of
the US.  Systems for transporting/handling sugar cane [and beets]
are much more limited, more than likely required special rail
cars.



Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming



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Green house, blah, blah, Al Gore, blah, blah, Majestic 12, blah, blah, one
world government, blah, blah, global population 500 million, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah.

This has gone a little too far so until such time as the total collapse of
everything as we know it I would like to be able to log on to
rec.crafts.BREWING and discuss...... brewing!

Mark R



Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


Mark R wrote:

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No page down key on your computer???  ;)

    -------->Denny


--
Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


[...]
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[...]

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Two possibilities:

We maintain our current consumption patterns (or anything close),
and our current economic/political value system, and reduced
consumption is forced on us in an apocalyptic framework.  (In
this case, who cares, 'cause the righteous will be raptured up
shortly, and the rest can f--k off.  That's the plan, anyways.)

Or, we can examine our pathological value system, reduce
consumption drastically but rationally, on our own schedule,
conserve the oil we do have (hopefully not for some fascist
apocalyptic blowout) along with conserving less immediately
available energy alternates from day one.

We're burning oil like there's no tomorrow, for the shorterm gain
of the few.  Under our current corporate value system, we'll do
the same thing to the soil in short order.  Then we'll really be
screwed.

cheers,
Scott S

--
Scott Sellers                |
scottsellers@mindspring.com  |

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


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If a limited, temporary fuel supply can be considered "secure".
Ethanol cannot begin to meet current oil consumption standards,
and is not a renewable resource under current industrial farming
practices, where the destructive costs to the very soil are
externalized for short-term profit.

Scott S

--
Scott Sellers                |
scottsellers@mindspring.com  |

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


Scott Sellers wrote:
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See "methane ice" for ideas on a solution, which should be discussed
elsewhere.

--
Unsigned numbers may not be negative. However, unsigned numbers may be
less than zero for sufficiently large values of zero.

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


On Dec 18, 12:13 pm, F. George McDuffee <gmcduf...@mcduffee-
associates.us> wrote:
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Yeah. There are moral issues here too. Like: By what right does the
government take my money to fund their utopian energy schemes?

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More offshore and Alaska drilling would do better. But the enviro-
zealots won't let that happen.

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So if government thugs break my window, and then I have to go buy a
new one, that helps the economy too? If you break my window to help
funnel money into your window-making business, you very well did help
*your* "economy", but you hurt me and the overall economy. The case is
no different when you steal my money to fund your little corn
fermenting business.

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Subsidies that should not exist in the first place are not a reason
for assigning them to some other nonsense task. And when some farmers
think that growing corn is more lucrative than hops or barley, we all
pay more for beer and bread and other things. It creates a pocket of
distortion in the market. It'd be better if the government just kept
paying them to do nothing. But the best thing would be to stop the
subsidies, which are patent nonsense.

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"Simply the transfer" is a euphemism for stealing.

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That nonsense should be eliminated not exploited further.

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More utopian nonsense. If someone really thought that there was value
in that, then you wouldn't need the government to fund it.

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I'm an engineer and I have to say that that statement is nonsense. If
something is better then *that's* the real good. But "better" means
"better when all things are considered", not your context-dropping
misuse of the term "better" by which you mean "better, but it costs
10000000 times more". That is not "better".

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More utopianism. If people really believed in it, no government
interference would be needed. People would invest. But they haven't,
precisely because the idea is stupid at this time. Clearly biologists
working for *legitimate* profit-seeking companies (as opposed to
illegitimate government-money-seeking parasitical ones) might
eventually work this out, at which time investors will exploit it, but
that they aren't exploiting it now proves it isn't ready.

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"Undervalued" according to whom? You and your utopian dreamers? Are
your windows undervalued too, and that's why you seek to break mine?
So I'll have to go pay you for them?

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Again, your goal is clear: To ram your utopian nonsense values down
everyone else's throats using the government. That's the only way you
could do it because arguments don't work, because your views are
nonsense no one would care to hear them. So you resort to force.

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And if you hire a bunch of people to go break windows, then everyone
who knows how to make them should be happy? Your argument is pure
thuggery.

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You do not know the meaning of the word "reason".

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


F. George McDuffee wrote:

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A quick look in wikipedia at the entry for butanol and the section on
"production" and the link there is informative. Butanol can be used in
any car, doesn't need "flex fuel" tech, and be mixed with gasoline in
pipelines, and can use the standard infrastructure in place.

Production can be from corn stalks and other plant biomass which
currently do not generate revenue. The factors of choice are economic
and political, not necessarily technical.

It would be nice if energy policy was not related to the cost of
brewing, but it really is.

--
Unsigned numbers may not be negative. However, unsigned numbers may be
less than zero for sufficiently large values of zero.

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


Brian Bartz wrote:

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They're also talking about using garbage, straw, and rice/wheat stubble,
etc.  As a gardener, turning stuff like that back into the soil helps
it; if it's all harvested and broken down for energy, I can't imagine
that any residue is going to be quite as helpful to the soil. And I can
only imagine what sort of erosion problems we will likely have from it.

Isn't there a spokesman to info legislators of the negative aspects?  I
don't think the brewing industry by itself is going to be able to help
much; there is a segment of our society which couldn't care less about beer.

Cheers.

Bill Velek - PERSONAL sites = www.velek.com & www.2plus2is4.com
780+ homebrewer group just for Equipment: www.tinyurl.com/axuol
630+ just for Growing Hops/Herbs/Grains: www.tinyurl.com/3au2uv
NEW group just for Homebrewing Supplies: www.tinyurl.com/2wnang
Join 'Homebrewers' to Help Cure Disease: www.tinyurl.com/yjlnyv

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming



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It does if you are a corn farmer due to all the subsidies it comes with.
Ditto the downstream processors. Fuel from corn is not about being
carbon neutral, it is about being seen to be doing something without
disturbing the usual big money interests who bankroll the politics.

There is not enough agricultural land in the world, even if we chop down
ALL the forests to grow both enough food and enough fuel to power our
current transport requirements. We need other answers than biofuels, at
least from crops.

There are other possibilities, usually involving algae. You can get
biodiesel from algae and the leftovers can be a feedstock for ethanol
production. Algae have little cellulose which makes them much easier
than less energy intensive to process with less waste. There is at least
one pilot program in the US using algae to capture the CO2 from a coal
fired power station and a company in New Zealand has a process for
biodiesel from algae grown on sewerage ponds, fuel and water treatment
in one. That's good news for dairy farmers facing effluent problems but
you won't hear about it while the corn industry is so heavily subsidised
and in turn buys the politicians.

Peter
--
Add my middle initial to email me. It has become attached to a country
www.the-brights.net

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


The bill passed by Congress specifically states that there be a
"sixfold increase in the use of ethanol as a motor fuel to 36 billion
gallons a year by 2022, with 21 billion gallons to be cellulosic
ethanol from prairie grass and wood chips".  So the bulk of the
increase in ethanol production as mandated by this bill will not come
from corn, but instead will come from non-food products.

I have read that, pound for pound, 10 times more ethanol can be
produced from wood chips than from corn.  Also, prarie grass grows
quickly, can be harvested twice a season and the whole plant can be
used (unlike corn).

It's high time the government did something.  Think of where we would
be today if efforts were made to produce alternative fuels back during
the Arab oil embargo of 1973.

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming


Brew Man wrote:

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That is correct -- the BULK of the increase would be from other than
corn -- but that still doesn't negate that we have seen price increases
from current corn useage for ethanol and the bill does still call for a
doubling of what is currently produced from CORN.  Regardless of other
sources of ethanol, that tells me that MORE corn is going to be planted
for ethanoil than has been so far, and that leads me to conclude that
the availability of barley (and maybe hops, too) will probably be even
tighter in the future because of corn grown for ethanol.

I'm still very concerned about the impact that this is going to have on
our aquifers and fresh water supplies, and on the erosion and depletion
of our soil.

Cheers.

Bill Velek

Re: Couple of new articles: even more impact on barley prices could be coming



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There are other inputs than in North America. Farmers here in Scotland
got out of Barley since they couldn't get decent prices from the brewers
and especially the distillers. Now it, along with international prices
has pushed the price up to the point where the farmers are going back
into Barley. If you don't pay your suppliers a living price they will
have no choice but to find something else to produce or go out of
business. Why is that so hard for business to learn?

Peter
--
Add my middle initial to email me. It has become attached to a country
www.the-brights.net

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