Going Green

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Unintended Consequences

Some unintended consequences of ethanol production --

Prairie conditions good, but help from hunters needed

News in the Dakotas is mixed for waterfowl hunters. Late-summer habitat conditions look good in many breeding areas in the Dakotas. The bad news is many areas face imminent destruction. Ducks Unlimited is asking duck hunters across the country for help.

"We've seen good brood numbers throughout the Missouri Coteau in North Dakota, but we also see native grasslands converted to cropland. This is bad news for future duck production." said Dr. Scott Stephens, director of conservation planning for Ducks Unlimited's Great Plains Office.
Increased crop prices driven by demand for corn for ethanol production....(full story

With corn and other feed grains prices high and rising, we will see conversion of marginal lands to crop production wherever possible. When the market price is above the point at which government support payments are triggered, there is no incentive for farmers to comply with price support programs. They will convert all available acreage to farming. This will affect the acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and other conservation programs that have benefited wildlife in farming areas -- especially the Plains states. Without action, there will be increased pressure on wildlife habitat. The law of Unintended Consequences at work...

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