Livestock producers could soon face a double whammy: continued high energy prices and a shortage of corn for feed.

“The corn surplus will be gone with the 2006 crop, as expected total corn use may exceed production by about one billion bushels,” says Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension marketing specialist.

Animal agriculture will also face increasing competition for the use of that corn as more corn is diverted to fuel.

“The rapid growth of the use of corn for ethanol in the coming months and years means that the livestock industry has a new major competitor, at least for corn,” notes Hurt, meaning that low-priced sources of feed may be fading, but uncertainties remain.