Low corn yields drive gas price hikes
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Low corn yields drive gas price hikes

Date: August 31, 2012
By: Alexander Mallin
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: 
Prices at the pump are on the rise in part because the ongoing drought is hurting corn harvests. But corn industry advocates say that removing ethanol from fuel blends could actually result in far sharper price hikes.
RunTime:  0:41
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The drought has led experts to predict Missouri's corn yield could be as much as 60 percent below normal values this year.

CEO of the Missouri Corn Growers Association Gary Marshall says the association offers guidance to corn growers in general and will be especially active in helping deal with the interactions of farmers with ethanol plants.

Actuality:  MARSHALL.WAV
Run Time:  00:09
Description: "Alot of it is up in the air right now for the next couple of months until the harvest is over and we will see exactly what size the crop is and then there will be alot of folks making more decisions at that point."
 
Marshall says the price of corn will increase and carry over to farmers, and the crop insurance coverage is instrumental in pushing farmers through the tough season.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Alex Mallin.

Intro: 
Prices at the pump are on the rise in part because the ongoing drought is hurting corn harvests. But corn industry advocates say that removing ethanol from fuel blends could actually result in far sharper price hikes.
RunTime:  0:43
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The drought is requiring cooperation among farmers and ethanol producers to conserve next year's corn harvest.

Director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Institute Patrick Westhoff says ethanol production will decrease by 10 percent this year, consumption demands will only decrease by 2 percent.

Actuality:  WESTHO2.WAV
Run Time:  00:11
Description: Well we do expect to see a higher ethanol price this year than last year, that's already happened to some extent. So we are seeing higher ethanol prices than we were before the drought hit that means a little bit higher cost for all consumers of fuel.
 
As to whether cutting back the amount of ethanol blended in to gas would help remedy this problem, Westhoff said manufacturers currently haven't found a better alternative to comply with state law.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Alex Mallin.

Intro: 
Prices at the pump are on the rise in part because the ongoing drought is hurting corn harvests. But corn industry advocates say that removing ethanol from fuel blends could actually result in far sharper price hikes.
RunTime:  0:44
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Some ethanol plants have temporarily shut down due to a sharp drop in projected corn yields from the drought.

Public relations manager at POET Biorefining Matt Merritt said this scale back in production hasn't had an effect on the demand, so market forces indicate a rise in gas prices.

Actuality:  MERRIT.WAV
Run Time:  00:13
Description: Well ethanol is certainly an important component of the price of gasoline right now. Across the nation it is 10 percent of the gasoline supply and we all know what happens when even a small percentage of the gas supply from any area gets affected.
 
 
Merritt said POET plants are still grinding last year's harvest, but he expects creativity will be needed with farmer and ethanol industry relations to manage the new harvest arriving in the coming months.
 
Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Alex Mallin.
 

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