Ethanol Calculations

According to an Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan feasibility study (pdf), a 15-million litre ethanol plant, coupled with a 28,000 head cattle feedlot would require:

  • The output of 70,000 productive acres.
  • 40,000 tonnes of wheat for production of ethanol (1.5 million bushels).
  • 25,000 tonnes of barley for feedlot (1,2 million bushels).
  • 20,000 tonnes of silage for feedlot.
  • 6,000 round straw bales for feedlot at full capacity every year.

The same feedlot will produce:

  • Almost 58,000 tonnes of manure every year.
  • This manure, spread as fertilizer at the rate of 35 tonnes per acre would cover 1,600 acres of land.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2006:

Canada's agricultural land base is just over 67.6 million hectares (167 million acres).

5% Ethanol Requirements

(to be mandated federally under Bill C-33)

2,000,000,000 litres of ethanol would be required to replace 5% of Canada’s 2006 gasoline usage (by volume). If this volume were produced according to the wheat feedstock/cattle feedlot integrated business model, this would demand:

  • 6% of our farmland (9,333,333 acres).
  • 20% of our current wheat production (5,333,333 tonnes).
  • One third of our current barley production (3,333,333 tonnes).
  • One quarter of our current cattle herd. (3,733,333 head).

E85 Requirements

34,000,000,000 litres of ethanol would be required to replace 85% of Canada’s gasoline usage (by volume) with ethanol. If produced according to the wheat feedstock/cattle feedlot integrated business model, this would demand:

  • 94% of our farmland (156,844,000 acres).
  • Three times our current wheat production, (to 90,644,000 tonnes).
  • All of our current barley production (11,322,000 tonnes).
  • A four-fold increase in the cattle herd. (to 63,466,666 head).

*Ethanol is lower octane than gasoline, so the equivalent volume of ethanol provides less energy, lowering overall gas mileage in cars burning an ethanol-gasoline mixture.