Sunday, June 26, 2011
From Cheerios to Ethanol
America's Heartland TV program focused on biodiversity of grains this week. They showed a family farm raising soybeans near Lafayette, Indiana and the Honda HAPI soybean production that ships Ohio soybeans back to Japan in Honda shipping containers.
The last segment showed the empty grain silo's on Lake Erie in Buffalo New York. General Mills produced most of their Cheerio cereals and Gold Medal flower there at the turn of the twentieth century but the plants were all closed after the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1969. This was the start of Buffalo's decline.
Entrepreneur Rick SmIII ith had the vision to transform those empty silo's to storage of east coast grain for the production of ethanol. I am sure many or most people thought he was crazy as the east coast has a positive basis for the huge supply of grain needed to feed all the livestock operations on the east coast.
One of my acquaintenaces has changed his farm operation east of Buffalo to supply them corn at a good profit for him and a competitive price for RiverWright Ethanol compared to shipping the grain from the midwest to them. The venture seems to be working for all.
I am sure many farmers have done the same to find the profit that meets the need of demand for grain where they live. Here it was soybeans for export and soy products but the demand for corn has overtaken that for soybeans and wheat so far this year, although they are all competing for grain.
From Cheerio's to Ethanol, there is a place for all the grain we can produce in this country and the world.