Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In 2006, ethanol was the strong tail wagging the farm dog. In 2007, ethanol will be the big, well-muscled dog whose price-pumping tail will stir every farm market and nearly every public policy debate.

The move from the big house to the smaller home a year ago brought a pint-sized office, three dozen banker boxes to replace nine, overfilled filing cabinets and a new, tiny-by-comparison work desk.

In late July, this space highlighted recent investigative stories by reporters at the Washington Post.

The big wins Senate and House Democrats enjoyed Nov. 7 will deliver them bigger titles, bigger offices, bigger staffs, bigger responsibilities and bigger expectations when the 110th Congress convenes in early January.

About the time most Americans werecarving their Thanksgiving turkey, Australia's virtual wheat export monopoly, AWB Ltd, was being carved up like a Christmas turkey - a Christmas turkey for U.

For years, farmers' hearts would leap when the word "ethanol" appeared in a newspaper headline. Now farmers almost dread it because they know the ensuing story is likely to outline the inevitable bust that awaits them if the current unplanned, willy-nilly ethanol boom continues.

According to most political wags, Nov. 7's election results were delivered more by do-nothing Republicans than by here's-what-we-want-to-do Democrats.

In the run-up to the Nov. 7 election, any candidate worth a baby-kissing pucker instantly, enthusiastically and repeatedly took the ethanol pledge.

In a move somewhere between brilliantly audacious and unbelievably outrageous, Monsanto's Aug. 15 offer to buy Delta & Pine Land Co.

The weakly regulated, wild west show that has been the Chicago futures markets is poised to become a wilder, more global show now that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange announced it was purchasing archrival Chicago Board of Trade for $8 billion.