More U.S. corn is being used to produce biofuels than for livestock feed for the first time in history, likely reflecting the federal government’s continued efforts to boost renewable fuel production as a way to cut foreign oil dependency and increase farm-related jobs, according to a Scientific American report. For the 12 months ended August, 5.05 billion bushels of corn were used for biofuels, verses an even 5 billion for livestock feed. About 2.5 billion bushels of corn were used directly for human consumption.
The boost in corn used for ethanol is likely to continue, at least until an commercially viable alternative biofuel feedstock is developed. . In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed that fuel producers boost 2012 renewable-fuels production by about 9 percent from 2011, as U.S. regulators look to take steps toward a goal of almost tripling annual renewable-fuel production during the next decade. Annual increases in the EPA’s renewable-fuel production guidelines are in response to the Renewable Fuel Standard 2 and 2007’s Energy Independence and Security Act, which set a U.S. production goal of 36 billion annual gallons of renewable fuel by 2022.
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