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Agriculture could help ease the energy crunch

Not since the mid 1970s has energy been such a hot topic. While we have not had a recurrence of long lines at service stations, in the past few months we have seen the price of gasoline approach or even exceed $2 a gallon. We’ve also witnessed California residents enduring rolling blackouts. These scenarios renew awareness of our reliance on energy.

Americans consume huge quantities of energy. From dozens of electrical appliances in the home and office to two or more vehicles in the driveway, we are a power-hungry society. And as our nation’s population and industries continue to grow, so does the energy demand.

Minnesota farmers produce some options to ease the energy crunch right in their own fields. From corn-based ethanol to soy-powered biodiesel to methane power, there are ag-based alternatives that can help supply renewable sources of energy.

In this issue of Ag Innovation News, we examine some of the ways agriculture is trying to take advantage of current circumstances. The demand for power may be exposing some opportunities for alternative energy sources like biofuels, which could fill a portion of our energy needs.

AURI is working hard with and on behalf of Minnesota producers to help equip them to react to this and other emerging opportunities.