GFM Network News


Biomass Growers Need To Consider Costs Carefully

Farmers in the northern Plains have the potential to supply large quantities of biomass. With respect to demand for biomass, U.S. federal policies and the creation of a U.S. national renewable electricity standard, form important future market opportunities. Moreover, several state renewable energy initiatives foster additional regional demand. Before a farmer begins establishing a biomass

Will Farmers’ Actions Improve The Ethanol Energy Balance?

Several years ago, there was substantial debate on whether corn ethanol produced more net energy relative to the amount of fossil energy required to manufacture it. This ratio, the amount of energy produced divided by fossil energy input needed, often is referred to as ethanol’s energy balance. For years, scientists argued whether the ratio exceeded


Are U. S. Ethanol Producers Making Money Now?

The past year was challenging for the U. S. ethanol industry because at least a dozen ethanol plants filed for bankruptcy nationwide. However, profit margins for many plants have improved recently. This begs the question: Are ethanol plants making money now? Data provided by Iowa State University’s Agricultural Marketing Research Center shows ethanol production was

New Energy Economics: Field Peas As An Ethanol Feedstock

Corn has become the mainstay of ethanol production. However, many firms are investigating new feedstocks, such as switchgrass, forest products and algae, to produce cellulosic biofuels that meet pending federal and state regulations. Biofuel production from most of these alternative feedstocks has not been commercialized as yet. Moreover, numerous agronomic and environmental challenges also exist,

How Soon Will Cellulosic Ethanol Arrive?

The arrival of ethanol produced from cellulosic feedstock sources has almost been a standing joke within the ethanol industry. Each year it has always been “four to five years down the road” before commercial production would become viable. That’s changed: the “four to five years” is now. At a recent ethanol workshop, several companies, including


New Regs Upset Ethanol Applecart

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 5 announced proposed regulations regarding implementation of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). Despite the legislation’s namesake, there isn’t much security for the growth of traditional corn ethanol. EISA was landmark legislation for the biofuels industry because it set a national goal of producing

Food Labels Might Include Carbon Footprint

Irecently received a call from a commodity organization that had a request from Japanese grain buyers. To sumarize, the grain industry is getting more questions from Japanese consumers who want to know what the carbon footprint is of the foods they are consuming. People worldwide are becoming more cognizant of global warming, climate change and