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Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw says the renewables industry has had to address several misconceptions over the use of cereal grains for ethanol, including the widespread belief that devoting arable land to corn grown for ethanol raises food prices. Citing statistics from USDA, Shaw says on-farm share is a lot less than one might think.
Other misconceptions include the belief that government subsidies prop up the market for renewables (fossil fuels receive over twice as many subsidies than do renewables), and that corn grown in the U.S. is diverted from channels of human consumption when it is converted into ethanol.
In fact, Purdue University reports that sweet corn only accounts for 650,000 acres of corn-growing land in America. Field corn, by contrast, is normally used as animal feed or used in creating ethanol, and accounts for 55 to 60 million acres.