This work by Midwest Energy News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
By Kevin Dobbs
Midwest farmers – and the land on which they rely – have prospered in recent years, even as the U.S. endured a financial crisis and economic recession.
And for better or worse, agriculture has built its good health on the fortunes of energy.
While rising global demand for food — particularly from densely populated and growing countries such as India — gets a chunk of the credit, this newfound prosperity is closely linked to the United States government’s backing of corn-based ethanol. Farm incomes and farmland values have surged as the ethanol industry emerged and then swelled in the past decade, creating a new form of steady demand for corn and hastening the rise in value of the soil in which it grows. Continue reading