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successfully used both modifi ed and standard sugarcane harvesters for sweet sorghum.


Sweet sorghum incentives


Two programs established by the 2008 Farm Bill are encour- aging the use of sorghum for ethanol production.


Through the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels (Sec- tion 9005 in the Farm Bill Energy Title), ethanol plants classi- fi ed as advanced biofuel producers can receive incentives for producing fuels derived from renewable biomass, including sugars and starches other than corn. NSP has and will con- tinue to work tirelessly to ensure sorghum’s status as an ad- vanced biofuel to boost markets and encourage the crop’s use in biofuel production.


The Biomass Crop Assistance Program assists with the collection, harvest, transportation and storage of biomass crops for bioenergy production, which could help estab- lish sweet sorghum production as a feedstock. Lower in- put costs and program incentives could give growers and ethanol producers a big advantage if they use sweet sor- ghum. If Congress chooses to continue these programs, they will be essential in supporting the development of the sweet sorghum industry.


“We need the EPA to approve sweet sorghum as a feedstock for ethanol hopefully in 2011 so we can sell sweet sorghum ethanol in 2012,” Rionda said. “The infrastructure in south- ern Florida is already in place for the growers and the ad- vanced biorefi nery.”


Rionda said meeting the 10 percent ethanol blending needs for gasoline requires 900 million gallons of ethanol per year. Florida uses 9 billion gallons of gasoline per year.


NSP is taking action


In November, NSP announced a formal collaborative agree- ment with the Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Association. SSEA is a global organization focused on promoting and developing the use of sweet sorghum as a renewable and sustainable resource.


The new collaborative agreement will allow both organi- zations to expand their eff orts to develop and expand the sweet sorghum industry. The collaboration aims to increase the two organizations’ advocacy eff orts for sweet sorghum and its inclusion as an advanced biofuel feedstock with the petition process of the Renewable Fuels Standard 2. NSP has been actively working with the EPA for three years to ensure a successful future for sweet sorghum and its place in the sorghum industry.


SORGHUM Grower Winter 2011


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