Economists are wondering if the current ethanol craze could hurt farmers of other crops. Behind the government's incentive programs to develop ethanol plants, prices for maize have made corn farmers very happy. Other farmers have invested these co-op plants, as well. The economists worry that farmers of other crops will have to contend with volatile oil prices as well as draught, flood, insects and other agricultural hurdles.

"Tying a large part of agriculture to oil is to introduce vagaries and risks to an already risky business," said C. Ford Runge, who is from the University of Minnesota's Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.

The worry is if oil prices come down, farmers who have invested will be hurt. I guess that's why they call investing a gamble.

[Source: Mike Meyers / Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune via Detroit News]

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