Feeds

Corn-fuel demand drives meat off America's plate

Enforced diet

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Corn shortages pushed the price of corn to such a high in Mexico last month that thousands marched in protest. Now, the price soaring of corn feed means the US might just find itself on an enforced diet too, as the farm industry reports a second significant fall in the output of beef and chicken.

Last year, the US petrol industry switched from using an additive called MTBE to using ethanol. Both chemicals are added in a bid to reduce smog, but MTBE is not well tolerated by humans, and instances of it seeping into the grounds prompted the switch.

The ethanol fuel industry now takes a substantial share of the corn crop: it is forecast to use 2.15 billion bushels of the 2006 crop and 3.2 billion bushels of what is grown in 2007.

Since then, the price of corn feed has doubled, according to the US Department for Agriculture (USDA).

"The decline in beef carcass weights reflects several factors, including higher feed costs, harsh winter weather, and higher-than-expected first quarter beef slaughter," said USDA.

To save on feed, farmers will keep their cattle on grass for longer, taking fewer animals to the slaughter houses, it added. For similar reasons, fewer chicks are being hatched. The result is that 60 million pounds of beef and 163 million pounds of chicken will not be making their way onto supermarket shelves.

The USDA also noted that both Brazil and Argentina are growing what look likely to be record crops of corn. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.