The president of Florida’s only ethanol plant under construction was a featured speaker in Indian River citrus country this week.
Bradley Krohn of U.S. EnviroFuels plans to use corn from the Midwest to produce ethanol for a 40 million gallon a year plant at Tampa Bay, but he believes there is good potential for Florida producers to grow alternative crops to make the fuel.
“This represents a tremendous opportunity for Florida growers to either diversify with an alternative crop or for citrus growers who are plowing up groves due to canker and are interested in growing a new kind of crop,” Krohn said in an interview this week with Southeast Agnet and Citrus Industry magazine.
Krohn says his plant could potentially use up to 100,000 acres of commodities grown in Florida. “That’s just for one plant. If you were to go to ten ethanol plants in Florida, that’s ten times 100,000 acres.”
He notes that Florida is the third largest consumer of gasoline in the country, behind California and Texas, consumer about 8.6 billion gallons of gasoline each year. He says it would take 20-25 plants like his just to provide a 10 percent ethanol blend for gasoline in the state.
Krohn also has an interesting perspective on the competition between livestock and ethanol producers for corn. “I think there’s a great opportunity in Florida to bring back slaughterhouses instead of sending cattle out to the midwest for finishing,” by creating a local supply of distiller’s grains to feed and finish cattle in the state.
Listen to an interview with Krohn by Southeast Agnet’s Gary Cooper here: Bradley Krohn Interview (7:45 min MP3)