More North American farm equipment dealers see the production of ethanol from corn as a bigger benefit for the agricultural industry than it is to the economy as a whole.

In Ag Equipment Intelligence's  "2012 Farm Equipment Business Trends in Outlook" survey, dealers were asked, "Do you believe continuing and/or increasing ethanol production from corn is good for the country as a whole?"

Of the nearly 300 dealer responses, 52.9% said "Yes," while the remaining 47.1% checked off "No."

When the same question was asked in regard to the agricultural industry, 64.2% of the dealers said, "Yes," the continuing and/or increased production of corn ethanol was beneficial to farming in the U.S. The remaining 35.8% of respondents said, "No."

Dealer commentary ranged from, "It's a renewable source" and "U.S.A. needs energy independence from the Middle East" to "It's not efficient and creates false markets. Drill, baby drill — lots of oil out there and cheaper!' and "It's not good for anyone!"

One dealer offered, "Yields cannot accommodate the amount of corn needed for both feed and or use it to produce ethanol even though corn can be used as a feed supplement. If ethanol is put into practice, corn prices also will be regulated more to control fuel prices, which will lead back to the farmer being 'screwed' as usual."

A Kansas dealer adds, "I am in favor of continuing to produce ethanol from corn because it is good for the country, the economy, and agriculture. When corn goes into the ethanol plant not only does ethanol come out, but also a very valuable feed source called distillers grain."

"Ethanol is at the core of making agriculture sustainable and profitable."