Ethanol Production Highest in a Month and Global Food Prices Down
**An infestation of grasshoppers and Mormon crickets is feeding on rangelands and crops in several counties in far Northern California.
Farmers and ranchers are suffering impacts as populations of the destructive bugs surge in numerous western states.
The challenge is worsening amid continued drought.
In rural Modoc County, agricultural officials say grasshopper damage has affected 400,000 to 500,000 acres, with particularly devastating impacts on hay crops.
**The Energy Information Administration says ethanol output jumped to its highest level in a month while inventories increased slightly.
Production of the biofuel rose to an average of 1.043
million barrels a day during the week ending on July 29.
That’s up from 1.021 million barrels during the previous week and is the highest output since the seven days that ended on July 1.
**Global food prices fell by the biggest amount since 2008 due to easing concerns over the supplies of grains and vegetable oils as Ukraine restarted its exports.
The United Nations world food cost index dropped almost 9% in July.
Bloomberg says the index is at its lowest level since January before Russia’s attack on Ukraine helped push the cost of food close to record levels.
It’s the fourth-straight monthly drop, but food prices are still high, and global hunger is getting worse.