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Analysis: U.S. bankers say, love or hate it, ethanol here to stay

• Reuters

Before the U.S. biofuels boom took off in 2007, the food vs. fuel debate raged: can we afford to use corn for ethanol in a starving world?

Five years later, farm bankers ask: can we afford not to?

"Ethanol demand is the linchpin of the current pricing model that we have," said Michael Swanson, agricultural economist at Wells Fargo, the largest commercial bank lender to U.S. farmers. "It's a completely different question whether it's right or wrong."

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