USDA Support for Renewable Energy

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be providing loan guarantees to help the ethanol industry, according to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. At last week’s USDA Outlook Conference, Vilsack said the USDA “has a responsibility for keeping an eye on that industry” to maintain an infrastructure to produce the next generation of biofuels. Vilsack also says USDA is working with …

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Government, Solar, USDA, Wind

Record Distillers Grains Exports

Cindy Zimmerman

Exports of the primary by-product of ethanol production are continuing to skyrocket. According to USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service, exports of distillers grains from the United States nearly doubled last year, up more than 90% from 2007 to total 4.51 million metric tons. Distillers grains are an ethanol co-product used as livestock feed. About one-third of every bushel of corn used …

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, RFA, USDA

Ethanol Outlook Brighter

Cindy Zimmerman

Despite bankruptcies and attacks by environmentalists, the outlook for ethanol is improving, according to the chairman of USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board. USDA’s February corn outlook says ethanol blender and producer margins have recently improved and weekly production of gasoline blends with ethanol is on the rise. “We’ve seen relatively lower corn prices as of late and even producers now …

Ethanol, News, USDA

Ethanol Ten Year Projections

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s Economic Research Service last week released its latest long term forecasts for the food and agricultural sector. For ethanol, USDA projects increases in corn-based ethanol production to slow over the next few years, but ethanol demand is expected to remain high and affect the production, use, and prices of farm commodities throughout the sector. According to the report, “continued …

corn, Ethanol, News, USDA

Government Announces Biomass R&D Funding

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) today announced up to $25 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products. “These projects will be among many Obama Administration investments that will help strengthen our economy and address the climate crisis. A robust biofuels industry – focused on …

biomass, Energy, Government, News, USDA

Ag Secretary Answers Ethanol Questions

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack got questions about ethanol during his first official press conference Monday. Vilsack says he favors improving efficiency in ethanol plants in order to ensure that the industry survives the economic downturn. “We need to make sure that the biofuels industry has the necessary support to survive the recent downturn,” Vilsack told reporters. “The USDA should research, …

Ethanol, News, USDA

Renewable Fuels on Ag Secretary Agenda

Cindy Zimmerman

In his first day on the job at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, newly confirmed Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack laid out his top priorities to USDA staff. In a USDA radio report, Vilsack said that President Obama is “adamant on the need for us to continue to find creative ways to provide the fuel and the energy that this …

Energy, USDA

Outgoing Ag Secretary Notes Biofuel Gains

Cindy Zimmerman

The outgoing U.S. Secretary of Agriculture listed advancements in the renewable fuels industry among the accomplishments of the Bush administration over the past eight years. Speaking to reporters this week, Secretary Ed Schafer noted that growth in ethanol and biodiesel production have helped create “remarkable prosperity and growth in the agriculture economy” during the Bush administration. “Looking to the future, …

Cellulosic, Ethanol, News, USDA

USDA Lowers Corn Usage for Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

The latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) from USDA projects less corn being used for ethanol this year. According to the report released this morning, ethanol use for corn was lowered by 300 million bushels lower “as prospects for blending above federally mandated levels decline.” Financial problems for ethanol producers are reducing plant capacity utilization for existing plants …

corn, Ethanol, USDA