The increase in ethanol production since 2000 has resulted in the ethanol industry moving from being a market for U.S. corn to being the primary user of the grain by 2010, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study entitled “U.S. Ethanol: an Examination of Policy, Production, Use, Distribution, and Market Interactions.”  The USDA study is available here  and is covered in a article available here.

The USDA study looks at the complex interaction of ethanol production with U.S. agricultural markets and government polices, with particular emphasis on the pivotal role that ethanol plays in the corn and feed markets.

“The U.S. ethanol industry appears to be a critical junction, and this reports identifies the many factors leading to its current conditions and presents the challenges to moving the biofuels industry forward,” said Robert Johansson, USDA’s chief economist in the preamble of the study.  “Inquiries concerning ethanol from a broad spectrum of people, including U.S. policymakers, international leaders, and various  interest groups, led to the commissioning  of this report.  It intends to bring clarity to the complex interaction of ethanol production with agricultural markets and government policies,” Johansson wrote.