Food manufactures in the United States continue to push for the government to carry out the sugar-to-ethanol program, a program created by the government to buy and use excess sugar to create fuel. Though the sugar-to-ethanol program seems very promising, the allotted buying price almost doubles the government budget for spending on the sugar market. The budgeted allowance for congressional spending in the sugar market is $51 million, and the program would cost approximately $100 million, ending in the fiscal period through October 1 reports Reuters.
But how is sugar converted to ethanol? According to the Shell website, in Brazil, where ethanol is a popular fuel choice, the sugar crops are cut and filtered through a series of tanks that act as sieves, extracting ‘pure juice’ from the sugar. They then heat the sugar and blend it with petrol oil in order to use it for fuel.
Tom Earley, an Agralytica food policy consultant said to Reuters on Monday, "This year and next year, the USDA will have to divert a million tons of sugar to ethanol to balance the market," in anticipation of the approval of the bill. They are expected to yield about 400,000 tons in crops through September, and 600,000 in the following crop year. The program received a failed bid in the senate, but William Reitsch of the National Foreign Trade Council was quoted as saying “We have always been more optimistic about the house.”