This year, ethanol producers in the United States turned 2.15 bushels of U.S. corn into the biofuel. This is three times as much as was converted in 2001, according to an article in Minnesota's Pioneer Press. Add to this Friday's announcement from the USDA that corn stocks are down seven percent compared to last year (which was a record high year, btw) and you begin to see where the ethanol boom is taking us.

For now, the increase in ethanol production means that Minnesota will be able to reduce its stockpiles of corn. The future, though, is the big unknown.
A vice president of Monsanto quoted in the article says he expects ethanol to require 25 percent of the U.S. corn supply once all the production facilities currently in production are completed (so, in about 18 months or so). Currently, ethanol uses about 15 percent. Citigroup pegs the number even higher, at 31 percent.

[Source: Twin Cities Pioneer Press]

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