In a way it’s old news, because the data listed on the Guardian’s DataBlog reflect corn to ethanol numbers from the previous year. Ethanol production has fallen on some rough times in many areas.
One-quarter of all the maize and other grain crops grown in the US now goes to produce fuel for cars and not to feed people, according to new analysis which suggests the biofuel revolution launched by former President Bush in 2007 is impacting on world food supplies.
Last year 107m tonnes of grain, mostly corn, was grown by US farmers to be blended with petrol. This was nearly twice as much as in 2007 when Bush challenged farmers to increase production by 500% by 2017 to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
A note on the data page: “Nearly all of the grain used for fuel ethanol in the United States is corn; the small share of other grains used is not included in these figures. Also note that corn used for fuel ethanol in a given year comes from the previous year’s crop; therefore, the 104 million tons of corn used for fuel ethanol in 2009 is reported as 26 percent of the 2008 crop of 401 million tons.”