GFM Network News


Oil and corn go to war

The two industries are touting duelling studies on future of U.S. biofuel program

Big oil and big corn are squaring off with opposing studies on proposed biofuels policy reforms under consideration by the Trump administration, part of an ongoing clash between the two sides over the future of the program. Valero Energy Corp., a major oil refiner, funded a study by Charles River Associates that supports placing a

Just exactly how cellulose is made by plants has always been 
a bit of a mystery.

Fuel cell insight gets powered up

Understanding how plant cells make cellulose could be 
the key to biofuel’s future

Scientists from Penn State University say they’ve gained valuable insight into how plants make cellulose — information that could help figure out how to break it apart to make ethanol. The researchers said, in a paper published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that they have identified the major steps


New research may be paving the way to more efficiently converting biomass like cornstalks into biofuels.

Cutting the cost of ethanol

Researchers devise a way to reduce the amount of enzymes needed to convert biomass into biofuels

Biofuels like ethanol could get cheaper if new research from Rutgers and Michigan State universities holds up. Scientists there have demonstrated how to design and genetically engineer enzyme surfaces so they bind less to cornstalks and other cellulosic biomass, reducing enzyme costs in biofuels production, according to a study published in the journal ACS Sustainable

Market analyst Mike Krueger says he’s not expecting global bumper crops again this year.

Crop production could take hit in 2017

Dry and cold weather in Europe and flooding in Latin America are setting the stage for trouble

Don’t expect a fifth consecutive year of record world crops in 2017. That’s according to The Money Farm’s Mike Krueger, who adds that world demand has been keeping pace with massive production. “High prices didn’t kill demand at all, but high prices did bring us a lot more acres,” he said at the recent CropConnect

Oilseed values gaining on talk of U.S. biofuel rules

Speculation on Trump’s next move supports crush margins

ICE Futures Canada canola contracts posted solid gains during the week ended March 3, as a flurry of speculation about rumoured changes to U.S. biofuel regulation injected strength into oilseed prices. Canola’s May contract rose from a closing price of $515.30 per tonne on Feb. 24 to settle at a closing price of $532.60 on


Editorial: Biofuels fight

[Updated March 2, 2017]: What would a world with another five billion bushels of corn on the market look like? I am willing to bet that the grain growers among our readership just felt a small blood pressure spike at the very thought, anticipating dramatically lower crop prices. That figure represents the portion of the

The U.S. renewable fuel standard is just one of many things on hold as the new U.S. administration takes power.

In Trump freeze, U.S. agencies delay rules affecting farms

The move creates an air of uncertainty surrounding key provisions, such as the U.S. renewable fuel standard

U.S. regulators under the new presidential administration have instituted a freeze on rules key to the country’s Farm Belt, agricultural groups said Jan. 26, heightening uncertainty for some of the regions that helped propel Donald Trump into office. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will delay implementation of this year’s biofuels requirements along with 29 other regulations

A farmer works in his sugar cane field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India February 28, 2015.

Sweet paradox: India’s drought-stricken farmers plant thirstiest crop

Erratic prices for vegetables, oilseeds and pulses limit the incentive for farmers to plant them

Despite pleas from the government not to, Indian farmers like Santosh Wagh went right back to planting sugar cane as soon as the first nourishing monsoon rains brought water to his drought-stricken region of central India. For growers like Wagh, a 35-year-old from the Marathwada region in the west of India’s Maharashtra state, sugar cane


Biofuels are mankind’s greatest blunder

Proponents of biofuels are simply refusing to count their true environmental cost

Are biofuels really greener than the fossil fuels they displace? In a recent column I pointed out that electric cars are only as green as the fuel used to generate the electricity they consume. For internal-combustion-powered vehicles, much of the focus has been on trying to reduce carbon emissions by adding ethanol to gasoline and

U.S. farmers have an ethanol addiction

Ethanol growth has caused the U.S. corn crop to balloon, and now U.S. farmers are 
facing a bleak price future

March did not go out like either a lion or a lamb. In fact, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its Prospective Plantings Report midday March 31, the month — as well as the 2016 corn market — highballed it into history faster than a runaway train. The coal under the boiler was USDA’s