Ethanol Shares Spotlight at Cooking Contest
May 7, 2007
The National Chicken Cooking Contest, the nation's oldest competitive cooking contest, was held last Friday in Birmingham, AL, wasn't just all about the 51 participants cooking away to capture the $100,000 grand prize. The ethanol industry took center stage for a bit, as well.
NCC Chairman Mark Hickman delivered the group's "State of the Industry 2007" report, citing that the that the industry is in good shape overall, but not without challenges. Specifically, Hickman pointed to the price and supply of corn as much of the acreage is shifted to ethanol production.
Mike Donohue, vice president of AgriStats Inc., echoed Hickman, saying that the acreage available for planting crops was limited, and there is little hope for significant increases in the near future as acreage is shifted from soybeans, also significant in broiler feed, and cotton to corn. He further noted that government subsidies for ethanol production means that it is unlikely that prices will drop significantly in the near future.
Hickman added that for the first time since 1973, the broiler industry is planning production cutbacks, which he says could result in a 2-lb. per capita reduction in chicken consumption next year in response to the rising cost of corn.