There has been a great deal of speculation about the direction of American biofuels policy. Some observers have suggested that the U.S. would likely back away from its mandates for ethanol and biodiesel production. Yesterday, U.S. President Obama gave a clear endorsement for biofuels. He issued a presidential directive to his Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to aggressively accelerate the investment in and production of biofuels. Obama and Vilsack see this as a way to spur rural economic development while reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil. With the downturn in world oil prices, many U.S. ethanol plants have been struggling financially. The Obama / Vilsack plan will include refinancing of existing investments in renewable fuels to preserve jobs. There will also be loan guarantees for the development of commercial scale facilities. Ethanol production has become a huge market for American corn. It appears that market will continue to grow under the Obama administration. This is good news for grain producers around the world. I’m Kevin Hursh.

Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC