The Renewable Fuels Standard could cut biodiesel demand by 40%. Grassroots pressure on the EPA and Congress is needed through the spring. Tax incentive helps more than farmers, as rural communities benefit, too.
Renewable Fuels Standard worries don’t darken the future of alternative grasses for energy and chemical use. Energy-crop seed producers are working on new traits for productivity and enhanced output for a range of uses. U.S. growth is slower than other countries, but seed producers remain optimistic about the future.
Economic solutions have been a solid tool for achieving environmental goals. Perhaps the most famous is the idea of power plants trading pollution credits, but there’s one for water that could benefit your farm.
USDA and EPA recently announced they are working together to support the development of water quality trading markets. These markets are expected to provide farmers and ranchers with new income opportunities, in addition to enhancing water quality and conservation.
Ethanol plants will come to fruition by 2014. Companies are working out the details of harvesting cellulose without harming the soil. The fight over the Renewable Fuel Standard has made investors wary of new tech.
The cellulosic ethanol industry is close to real-world plants with commercial production volumes. The Renewable Fuel Standard is important for supporting advanced biofuel development. Major plants from DuPont and POET come on line in 2014.
Getting to the heart of the matter—that is what the United Soybean Board (USB) is doing in forming an industry partnership to develop soybean varieties with healthier oil profiles and healthier market prospects.
The global market for biologicals is between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion and is projected to grow to approximately $3 billion by 2020, according to the industry analysis firm Frost & Sullivan. While there is confusion over the product category itself, which includes biorationals, biostimulants and biopesticides, there is no dought it will grow.More biological products, like those mentioned below, are being incorporated into conventional corn and soybean farming as part of a pest management and/or plant health program.
Corn and soybean growers are using many tools to optimize yields, including fungicides. As a result, the acres of fungicide-treated crops have greatly expanded. In response, fungicide makers have been building their portfolios to help farmers manage disease throughout the growing season. Here is a snapshot of what to expect over the next 24 months.
E15 cleared the final regulatory conditions imposed by the EPA in 2012, but its path to market has not been smooth sailing. Earlier this year, the Grocery Manufacturers Association filed a lawsuit against EPA, suggesting that the agency overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act when it granted partial waivers allowing E15 to be used in certain engines. However, on August 17, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with the EPA, confirming its partial waiver approval for E15.
Seed polymers are a bit like force fields: You cannot always see them, but they are there to protect. For instance, Polymers are helping to protect the growing number of active ingredients and biologicals (applied in the form of seed treatments) from dusting off. This not only protects the corn or soybean grower’s investment, but also reduces the seed applicator’s or grower’s exposure to various compounds, say manufacturers of polymers and other seed enhancements.
Crop protection costs (not bundled with seed) for the 2013 corn and soybean planting seasons will be slightly higher than they were in 2012, agricultural economists predict.
“Herbicide prices in the aggregate peaked in 2009, then fell somewhat in 2010 and 2011 before starting to edge upward again in 2012,” says Alan Miller, farm business management specialist, Purdue University. “For 2013, I expect herbicide prices to move slightly higher, perhaps by 1% to 4%.”