Investing in the Future

Cindy Zimmerman

Biodiesel and ethanol plants are getting lots of interest from investors, especially in the midwest.
According to an article in yesterday’s Des Moines Register, organizers of a biodiesel plant in Newton, IA raised $7 million in two days last week, with at least one investor driving over 200 miles across the state to put in his $25,000. According to the article, another group of organizers recently raised $20 million in a little more than a week to build a 30 million-gallon-a-year biodiesel plant in Wall Lake, IA.
Is the industry growing too big too fast? One person quoted in the article thinks so. Leland Tong of MARC-IV Consulting, which tracks the biodiesel market, warns against thinking of the industry as “the next big cash cow.”
But, Iowa State University economist Roger Ginder, a specialist in agribusiness management, disagrees – saying there is sufficient demand for biodiesel fuel and sufficient feedstocks like soybeans and animal fats to support the industry’s growth.
Good article by veteran agricultural journalist Jerry Perkins.