As we begin to use more of our acreage to grow crops for fuel, many people are asking: food vs. fuel? That question is underlying a lot of research and debate these days. The Big Question concerns corn and ethanol. As we use more corn for fuel, does that mean less for food? If not, where will the corn come from? The USDA suggests it will come from diverting corn meant for export, but as the graph below shows, that has yet to happen.
Source: Economic Research Service Feed Grains Database, USDA , http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/feedgrains/
There is a lot of speculation about how much cropland will really be needed to meet the ethanol boom. For more info read the Institute For Agriculture and Trade Policy paper " Staying Home: How Ethanol will Change U.S. Corn Exports".