Letter to the Editor

Ethanol a good fuel source

As a corn farmer, I was offended to see the article, "Ethanol proving to be harmful to the environment," in the Nov. 12 Southeast Missourian. Not only was it full of inaccuracies, it failed to recognize the great strides agriculture has made to improve farming practices and take better care of the environment.

Our land is our livelihood, and we go to great lengths to care for it. Modern technology has allowed farmers to reduce erosion by 67 percent using practices such as no-till and terracing. GPS helps us optimize efficiency and apply nutrients with pinpoint accuracy. Seed technology ensures we can plant seeds suited to growing in our unique soil and environment. This means we use less land to grow more corn and -- one thing the article actually did get right -- reduce nutrient application such as nitrogen.

Of course, corn production isn't perfect. Neither is ethanol production. We're still learning and applying new technology. But what the article fails to mention is when comparing apples to apples, ethanol production is still better than the alternative -- oil.

Instead of taking ethanol to task, why not take a look at the harm caused by fracking, tar sands or the ecological and economic devastation from oil spills? The gross lack of comparison is unfair to an industry that is supplying a cleaner, less expensive, domestic fuel source and to farmers who care for the land as their livelihood.

JIM STUEVER, president, Missouri Corn

Growers Association, farmer, Dexter, Mo.