By Dan Shapley
Record-high corn prices prompt Mexican farmers to burn agave fields
Record-high prices for corn, fueled by federal subsidies meant to boost ethanol production, are influencing the decisions of farmers south of the border, just as they are in the United States. Mexican farmers are plowing under or burning their fields of agave, beans, potatoes, rice and barley for one reason: growing corn is suddenly far more lucrative. For American consumers, that could mean yet another ripple in the market, this one at the liquor store. About one quarter of Mexican agave -- the main ingredient in tequila -- is being burned to make way for corn. For Mexicans, it has already meant a run-up in tortilla prices, which has squeezed the poor, prompting protests, according to a story in the June 21 Christian Science Monitor. Related Stories Is Ethanol Behind High Food Prices? U.S. Biofuel Tax Credit Benefits European Drivers CSI: Gulf Dead Zone Beer vs. Biofuels Fertilizer Firms Are Flush. Thanks Ethanol Grains Of Truth About Ethanol Ethanol Drives Up Food Costs Alternative Fuel -- With More Pollution?