Dip in ethanol demand weighing on Ontario corn market


As of now, there haven’t been any ethanol plants closed in Ontario, but there are reports that many plants are dialing back production amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does that mean for overall corn demand and, of course, price?

Crosby Devitt, the new CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario, says that as of right now, there’s plenty of uncertainty in the market. It’s a tough time for farmers to be facing such a seismic shift in demand, as Ontario corn growers are just a month ahead of the average busiest part of the planting season.

Devitt says many farmers already have their planting plans in place, as far as seed purchases, field selection, and fertility plans go. What’s more, the livestock industry relies heavily on DDGs, a byproduct of ethanol production, to move protein into rations. Will there be a shortage?

It will be interesting to see what happens with corn acres, especially given that the USDA’s latest planting intentions put the American corn crop at nearly 97 million acres (as of March 1). Will we see acres shift out of corn, into beans or small grains?

Listen on to hear Devitt and Shaun Haney discuss ethanol demand shifts, soybean market bailouts, and more: 

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