a_d
Friday, August 15th, 2008
By Nancy Allen
ODA director: State should support ethanol
  The director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) said the state should continue to pursue ethanol as an alternative energy source despite continued high grain costs crushing many livestock producers.
The demand for corn for ethanol production has played a part in exploding corn and grain costs hurting livestock farmers. But most of the increase has been caused by higher energy costs, said ODA Director Robert Boggs, who toured the Mercer County fairgrounds on Thursday with local ag officials.
"We have to do something about our $700 billion a year petroleum addiction," Boggs said. "(Corn ethanol's) not perfect. We need to move more toward cellulosic (ethanol)."
He said the state also needs to look at other energy sources such as methane digesters which turn methane gas from manure into energy and also look at solar and wind energy.
The state's recently passed energy bill will allow more accessibility to the energy grid for these alternative energy generating sources, said the ODA director.
He added that, although 20 percent of Ohio's corn is being diverted to ethanol production, the state is producing 30 percent more corn than it did a year ago. The new ethanol plants going up in Ohio also are 30 percent more efficient than ones built 10 or more years ago.
"Just like petroleum plants, they weren't so efficient at first," Boggs said, adding that Ohio State University researchers are working with private companies to increase the efficiency of newer ethanol plants to 95 percent. Currently they are about 90 percent efficient, he said.
Continued advancement in bioengineering and large, permitted farms are necessary for Ohio to compete in the world economy and to continue to produce enough crops and food to meet demands, according to Boggs.
Additional online stories for this date
Print and E-Edition only stories for this date
• Zoning issue petition leaps another hurdle
• Company seeks funds for new manufacturing plant in St. Henry
• Board purchases buses to replace older models
• Liquid source remains a mystery to SWCD officials
• Tough day for locals at Lady Tiger Tee golf invitational
a_d
Saturday
71°
Chance Thunderstorms
37%
Saturday Night
55°
Rain Showers Likely
82%
Sunday
63°
Rain Showers
76%
Sunday Night
51°
Chance Rain Showers
50%
Monday
67°
Chance Thunderstorms
56%
Monday Night
51°
Rain Showers Likely
60%
Tuesday
61°
Mostly Cloudy
21%
Tuesday Night
41°
Mostly Cloudy
10%
Wednesday
57°
Partly Sunny
10%
Wednesday Night
40°
Mostly Cloudy
15%
Thursday
58°
Chance Rain Showers
45%
Thursday Night
44°
Rain Showers Likely
66%
3 Day
Extended
a_d
a_d