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Biofuel crops will feel effects of slumping oil prices, research shows

The crash in oil prices will be felt at the farm gate as demand and prices moderate for biofuel crops corn and soybean, says a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The rise in production and demand for biofuels was an important driver of prices for corn, soybean and other grains in the past 10 years. The amount of corn being sent to biofuel plants tripled, as Read more

Grain analyst warns of leaner years ahead for Ontario growers

By Blair Andrews, QMI Agency

The next few years will be leaner when it comes to grain prices, a market analyst for an international feed and grain company warned Thursday at the Chatham-Kent Farm Show.

Bruce Trotter based his sobering outlook on a few factors, including lower growth expectations for China and the ethanol industry.

Trotter, who works in Blenheim as the managing director for the Canadian branch of Dutch-based Cefetra, said the era from 2006 to 2011 was a time of rising land prices and better crop margins driven by bio-fuel mandates and very high growth in China.

But the mandated growth in ethanol and bio-diesel is over, and he described the most recent years as an “ethanol hangover.” Read more

CBO report sees tougher times ahead for ethanol & advanced biofuels | AgriPulse

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23,2014 – Responding to the fact that “some policymakers have proposed repealing or revising the Renewable Fuel Standard” which requires blending biofuels with gasoline, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported Tuesday that it could be difficult to comply with the steadily increasing ethanol volumes which the law mandates.

The report points out the central problem with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): “a trade-off exists between the goal of limiting the cost of complying with the RFS (for example, by reducing the requirements for cellulosic biofuels) and the goal of providing a strong incentive for the development of better technologies for advanced biofuels.”

In other words, compliance costs drop if the EPA reduces its RFS volume requirements as it proposed last November. But even proposing to lower the requirements does exactly what has happened this year in the biofuels industry: investors flee, forcing companies to postpone or abandon plans for improving operations and building commercial-scale biorefineries.

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