April 2, 2006

FLORIDA: Farm to Fuel Program

Florida is a state rich in cash crops, timber, and agricultural waste. A recent study showed Florida ranked first in the nation in the availability of biomass production area because of its farms, forests and climate.

In addition to a desire to participate in reducing the country's dependence on oil, Florida is interested in technologies that will enable farmers to turn a profit from the conversion of crops to green electricity, ethanol, and biodiesel - even during harsh winters that would ruin a year's harvest. According to Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson:

"Right now, in South Florida, there is a corn crop that was destroyed by Hurricane Wilma," he said, referring to the storm that hit the southern part of the state last fall.

"If we had a biofuel production facility, that corn could be picked up off the ground and used to produce ethanol and the farmer wouldn't lose all his money," Bronson said.

His department is implementing a "Farm to Fuel" program to promote their vision to the farming community. Below are excerpts from the department's website.


Farm To Fuel

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is assisting Florida farmers and ranchers in producing bio-fuel crops to help reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil.

The goal of the nation’s agriculture industry is to produce 25 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. by the year 2025 -- a program known as “25/25.”

Bronson believes that Florida can be a leader in the effort of producing energy from crops and timber because of the vast amount of farm acreage in the state and its mild climate, which permits crops to be grown virtually year round.

On January 12, 2006, more than 50 agricultural producers, researchers and those already in the business of producing commercial fuel-grade ethanol and bio-diesel crops attended the Commissioner’s ambitious “Farm to Fuel” meeting in Tallahassee. Powerpoint presentations from the meeting can be viewed by clicking on the links below.

In the coming months, Commissioner Bronson will be working with Governor Bush and the Florida Legislature, Florida’s Congressional Delegation, and colleagues from other states to develop and implement strategies to assist farmers and producers of bio-fuels in Florida.


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