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Livestock Producers Want Less Ethanol, More Feed; Solution in Prairie Restoration?

Does ethanol cause competition between fuel and food? Livestock producers think so. Faced with the current widespread drought, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Chicken Council (no, really!), the National Turkey Federation, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and several other livestock, dairy, and poultry organizations are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the federal ethanol mandate. That federal rule currently drives more than a third of America's corn crop into our gas tanks. With grassland drying up, folks raising critters need more affordable corn for feed.

I really look forward to hearing our Congressional delegation figuring out which competing interest to side with on this issue.

Ranchers seeking reliable feedstocks may want to look to a new prairie preservation program forged by a coalition of government agencies and conservation groups in Minnesota. A $3.5-billion investment will help acquire, protect, and restore 2.2 million acres of prairie in one large, connected nature preserve. The plan will keep the corn-economy from tearing up any more land for Monsanto monoculture. But it's no purist hippie vegan plot: recognizing that bison grazed the pristine prairie as an integral part of the ecosystem, Minnesota will encourage livestock producers to graze their critters on the protected land.

Gee, that sounds like the enviro-business model of South Dakota's EcoSun Prairie Farm that we discussed last week.


  1. larry kurtz 2012.08.01

    Good eye, CAH: from the Galisteo to the Yukon, from the Yellow Medicine to the Divide. Rewild the West.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.08.01

    Larry, I'm curious: will prairie land that permits grazing still satisfy your desire for re"wild"ed land?

  3. larry kurtz 2012.08.01

    No domestic livestock except for species indigenous to North America passing genetic tests allowed on public ground or on private ground leased to graze in corridors designated for rewilding on kurtz's planet.

    Privately owned animals that enter the wildlife pool would be micro-chipped and culled under statute.

    What "producers" do on their own ground would have to file results or submit to surface water inspections.

  4. larry kurtz 2012.08.01

    rephrase: producers would have to submit their own surface water inspections or expect EPA to do it for them. Bob Mercer suggested that state agencies want no responsibility for wildlife anyway.

  5. Les 2012.08.02

    I'm sure both Larry and I share a distaste for many of Mansanto's issues, but how absurd Larry, is feeding 10Bil + people on pheasant, grouse, dear and buffalo.

  6. larry kurtz 2012.08.03

    Les: learn to spell then try to construct a sentence.

  7. Les 2012.08.03

    The question remains, how absurd Larry will feed 10bil people on feasant, grouz etc.

  8. Charlie Hoffman 2012.08.03

    You make a great point Les; and you have me laughing out loud. Anyone wonder how many people in the world would be starving had Monsanto not come up with RoundUp Ready Corn and Soybeans?? The savings in fuel and water from not having to cultivate crops, work the ground, and summer fallow used before No-Till came into vogue, is astronomical.

    Within a few years Larry South Dakota farmers and ranchers will each be feeding over 200 other human beings every year. Those grouz and peasants and duks would be gone without ranchers and farmers feeding them too buddy. Conservationalists we are!!!

  9. larry kurtz 2012.08.03

    Coulda sworn you bozos have been saying that the US is collapsing: which is it? Rewild or go broke?

  10. Les 2012.08.03

    I've seen two deer this entire summer on our Black Hills property Charlie. In the past small herds grazed and rested daily. Our friends at GF&P admitted to our lion population being 300 and a possible season quota of 100. The old guys around me say 600-700 and my archery hunter son in law to be says 2000.

    There is no conservation methods that can keep up with the lion and the wolf. Balance my friends.

    Back on topic, it was a dry summer with the grasslands drying up some 20 plus years ago when I saw my first lion in the baby badlands above the Grand River.

  11. larry kurtz 2012.08.03

    Fewer deer, more aspen, fewer chances of bikers being killed by them, lower insurance rates.

  12. grudznick 2012.08.03

    Aspen living colonies and are just behind you, Larry, as the worlds largest living single organisms, but they hardly ever kill bikers. With 100+ fewer kitties next year, the aspen will thrive.

  13. larry kurtz 2012.08.03

    Big aspen die-off in Elk Creek: any idea why, grudz?

  14. grudznick 2012.08.03

    All the studies I have read point to a combination of insane wild-eyed weed-smoking libertarians with odd-looking hats running around with cheap foreign-made chainsaws; and too many kitties eating the seedlings.

    I understand the President would like another study performed.

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