With today's unsettled and volatile world, I couldn't be happier that ethanol and biodiesel have dug in and garnered the respect and support of American consumers. Anything to keep us less reliant on overseas oil gets a thumbs up from this magazine.
Latest count is that there are about 100 ethanol plants in 21 states producing the much needed and environmentally friendly fuel. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, 30 more plants are under construction and some 150 are on the drawing board. In fact, about 15% of the corn grown this year will end up in ethanol plants.
Almost the same robust scenario is true for biodiesel, with national capacity reaching 500-800 million gallons in the next 18 months.
So what does all of this biofuels hype mean to your bottom line, especially if you don't live near a plant? To find out, please check out our special section on biofuels beginning on page 6. We'll letyou know what the experts say your payoff could be and what obstacles are in your path to higher crop prices.
New “Our Farm” Column
Tyler Bruch apparently likes adversity, but only if he can see a dollar sign at the end of the tunnel. As an Iowa State grad and young farmer from Emmetsburg, IA, Bruch is starting to farm in Brazil and will be sharing the daily challenges he faces in this new and sometimes frustrating frontier.
It's far from all being rosy and you don't just sit around waiting for the money to roll in, Tyler told me. Still, he's energized by every part of every day. Now you can read about it in his first of many columns called “Our Farm,” page 24.
Welcome New Staffer
With this issue, Susan Winsor joins the staff as managing editor. Experienced in both the magazine and corporate side of agriculture, she brings a wealth of new talents to the pages that follow. And, she's hitting the road as you read this, ferreting out new production and marketing stories for future issues.
Former Managing Editor Karen Simon is now director of communications at the Iowa Soybean Association.