Story from the Wall Street Journal
If you’re thinking of buying a new mower, trimmer or garden tiller, it might be worth waiting. Yesterday, three congressional delegates from Vermont introduced legislation that, if passed, would offer consumers a 25% tax credit up to $1,000 toward the purchase of environmentally-friendly lawn, garden or forestry power equipment.
The bill titled “Greener Gardens Act” (every pun intended presumably) is the brainchild of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and is designed to provide “immediate incentive for people to purchase clean, alternative fuel engines that…operate on little or no fossil fuel.” Qualifying equipment would include that powered by a motor drawing current from solar, electricity or rechargeable or replacement batteries, as well as equipment run off other alternatives to gasoline–such as propane or compressed natural gas. It would also include “hybrid” machines whose cutting systems are powered by a generator or electrical storage device combines with a small engine.
While such equipment is still not widely available compared to gas-operated machines, more well-known brands such as Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, Ariens, Husqvarna, and Black & Decker– among others–have been adding non-gasoline fueled products to their lineup in recent years. One notable constituent of the bill’s authors is Neuton Inc. of Vergennes, Vt., which makes battery-powered mowers (pictured here) and yard tools.
The bill was endorsed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, a trade association, which says it will push for any final legislation to include provisions for the commercial market as well as for homeowners.
Tax credits are gaining fast traction as a way to help fuel President Barack Obama’s clean energy agenda. Right now, there are lucrative incentives in place for making energy-efficient home improvements. They include up to $1,500 in tax credits for adding qualifying windows, doors, insulation, roofs, heating and cooling equipment, water heaters and even wood and pellet stoves to your house in 2009 and 2010. Perks for installing pricier solar technology, small wind-energy systems or a geothermal-well system include a tax credit of 30% of qualifying expenditures with no upper limit through 2016.
Readers, are you investing in any energy-efficient home improvements or environmentally-friendly lawn equipment this year? Do these tax credits make such upgrades more appealing?
About Reynolds Farm Equipment
If you are looking for further John Deere information or products, visit the Reynolds Farm Equipment website.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Story from the Wall Street Journal
Story from Biodiesel Magazine
Minnesota is again leading the nation in the charge to keep valuable jobs in the U.S., decrease dependence on foreign oil and lessen environmental impacts. The state is the first to require that diesel fuel contain a 5 percent blend of homegrown, renewable biodiesel.
“Increasing biodiesel in our diesel fuel allows us to take advantage of a renewable fuel made in Minnesota, which in addition to being environmentally responsible also adds to our state's bottom line,” said Ed Hegland, a Minnesota soybean farmer and chairman of the National Biodiesel Board. “I'm proud to live in a state that is leading energy innovations and taking part in valuable solutions like biodiesel.”
Biodiesel is a sustainable, renewable alternative to diesel fuel that reduces greenhouse gases and other emissions, and is nontoxic and biodegradable. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel. Blends can be used in most diesel engines with few or no modifications.
“This standard empowers the citizens of the state to support Minnesota's economy and use less foreign oil,” said Joe Jobe, National Biodiesel Board CEO.
Blends of up to 5 percent biodiesel (B5) are legally categorized as diesel fuel, eliminating any operational or potential warranty concerns. B5 also boasts premium performance characteristics and when properly handled, will perform just like diesel.
The biodiesel industry works closely with the petroleum industry and offers many resources regarding biodiesel use in cold climates. Biodiesel’s cold weather performance is well documented. It is safe to use up to a 20 percent blend of high quality biodiesel year-round, in even the coldest of climates. Biodiesel will gel in cold weather, just like regular diesel fuel. But biodiesel blends can be treated for winter use in similar ways that No. 2 diesel is treated. Cold weather concerns are greatly diminished with lower blends like B5.
Some early concerns with the Minnesota B2 requirement were overcome through enhanced quality control, and the program has been a biodiesel success story ever since. Last winter, officials in the Bloomington school district wrongly blamed biodiesel for buses' cold weather operating problems. An independent study and the Minnesota Department of Commerce confirmed B2 did not cause the malfunction.
According to analysis from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the state’s B2 Fuel Standard added an average of just 4/10 of a penny to the cost of a gallon of diesel during the last three years.
Minnesota was the first among what is now a roster of states that also recognize the countless benefits of biodiesel and have introduced usage requirements of cleaner burning, domestically produced biodiesel. Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, New Mexico and Massachusetts have also passed biodiesel requirements.
Minnesota is already home to excellent fuel quality enforcement requirements, proven and tested under the state's B2 standard. The National Biodiesel Board vigorously supports enforcement of quality standards. The NBB has an aggressive fuel quality outreach and enforcement program, funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the United Soybean Board.
Last year U.S. biodiesel production approached 700 million gallons, supported 51,893 jobs in all sectors of the economy, added $4.287 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and reduced greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of removing 980,000 vehicles from U.S. roads.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Earth Day 2009
Story from Voice for Agriculture
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2009 – “America’s farm and ranch families are dedicated to caring for our planet. They are ethical caretakers of the land and water resources that help make our nation’s bounty possible. On this Earth Day, more and more farmers are joining the conversation about environmental stewardship, and with good reason. Through modern conservation and tillage practices, farmers and ranchers are reducing the loss of soil through erosion, protecting the quality of our lakes and rivers and in the process enriching the earth.
“Today, it is possible for farmers and ranchers to produce more food than ever before on fewer acres with fewer inputs. These things are possible through the use of modern farming tools, such as global positioning satellites, biotechnology and conservation tillage. Thanks to a successful partnership with our government, as of January 2009, farmers had enrolled 33.6 million acres of their land in the Conservation Reserve Program to protect the environment and provide habitat for wildlife. In fact, more than half of America's agricultural producers intentionally provide habitat for wildlife, which has significantly increased many populations.
“Farmers are planting trees at record rates. And renewable fuels that they grow, such as ethanol and biodiesel made from corn, soybeans and other crops, are not only beneficial to the environment but are poised to play a significant role in promoting a greater degree of energy security for the United States. The American Farm Bureau Federation is proud of our nation’s farmers and ranchers for their dedication to caring for the planet as they engage in the hard work of helping provide food, fiber, shelter and renewable energy for our nation and the world.”
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Story from the Southeast Farm Press
A farmer-operated organization with the mission of promoting the export of American leaf of all types may be just a few steps from becoming a reality.
First, a formal proposal to the United States Secretary of Agriculture must be prepared, describing a strategy to provide the funds needed to aggressively target high-potential markets for U.S. tobacco overseas.
Once developed, the proposal will go to the secretary. If he approves, tobacco growers will get a chance to vote in a referendum to indicate it they want to generate funding through a checkoff.
An initial amount of 20 cents per 100 pounds has been suggested for the checkoff, and “U.S. Tobacco Export Council” has been suggested as a name of the organization.
The president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation told farmers in March the referendum could perhaps be held late in 2009 but more likely in 2010.
Larry Wooten said at the annual meeting of Tobacco Associates, an export promotion group for flue-cured growers, that the secretary’s approval is no sure thing. And of course, farmer approval of the referendum is no sure thing either.
A working committee of economists has been formed to flesh out the proposal to the secretary, he said.
“They are taking the points of consensus that farmers have arrived at and putting ‘meat on bones of the skeleton’,” said Wooten.
Participating are Dan Stevens, retired U.S. Department of Agriculture economist; Blake Brown, North Carolina Extension economist; Will Snell, Kentucky Extension economist, and Daniel Green, chief operating officer for Burley Stabilization Corporation and formerly an economist at the University of Tennessee.
If this initiative gets to the point of a referendum, Wooten thinks it might be carried out through Farm Service Agency offices.
He thinks the expense wouldn’t be too much of an obstacle to growers.
“We aren’t talking about much,” Wooten said in a subsequent interview. “At 20 cents per 100 pounds and at a yield of 3,000 pounds per acre, that would come out to about $6 an acre. That isn’t much for a crop that is grossing $4,000 an acre. I believe this export promotion assessment is good value for dollars spent.”
Promoting the quality of American tobacco to potential customers could be a great help to farmers, considering that 60 percent of flue-cured tobacco and 80 percent of burley is exported, he said.
Wooten is cautiously optimistic about the eventual fate of the checkoff. “If leaf tobacco export is going to continue as it has for the last 50 years, we are going to need a joint effort among the different types of tobacco,” he said. “I think the chances are better the farther we go in this direction.
“The organizations that are involved in this are trying to put a package out there and let the growers decide.”
He said he expects tobacco manufacturers and leaf dealers will be solidly behind this. The assessment would probably be collected at the first point of sale which would be the leaf receiving stations.
He expects that growers of all tobacco types — from flue-cured in Florida to cigar leaf in Massachusetts and all in between — will have the opportunity to benefit from promotion efforts if they approve the checkoff.
In another presentation at the Tobacco Associates meeting, leaf dealer Rick Smith of Wilson, N.C., said that this year, the domestic demand has dropped much more dramatically than anticipated by the trade.
“I expect that even though the export buyers may increase a little, the decline in domestic off-take will be more than the increase in exports can absorb,” said Smith, owner of Independent Leaf Tobacco Company, among thriving Wilson real estate. “I look for a net reduction in pounds of perhaps 15 percent instead of the 3 percent or 4 percednt we have been seeing.”
He predicted that 2009 leaf prices will be lower than — but still very close to — last year’s.
“I expect no more than five cents a pound less,” he said. “I believe the 2009 prices are high enough to attract as much production as last year. But the companies don’t seem to want or need (that much),” he said.
There definitely haven’t been enough contract pounds offered to make flue-cured farmers happy this year, said Smith.
As a result, Smith suggests more uncontracted tobacco may be planted this year than in any year since deregulation.
“There might be more flue–cured grown off contract this year than in the past, as farmers bet the companies didn’t contract enough to meet their needs,” he said. “This might also apply to burley, whose growers are much more accustomed to off-contract production.”
The biggest news at the Tobacco Associates meeting was its location: For the first time ever, the annual meeting of Tobacco Associates was held outside of Raleigh, N.C. That’s because the bylaws of the organization had required the meeting be held in the state’s capital.
But those bylaws were recently amended to allow more flexibility in choosing a meeting venue. The Wilson County Agricultural Center was the choice this year, and the results were good.
“Having our meeting in the growing area gave more growers the opportunity to get a chance to participate,” said Charles King, director of state affairs for Tobacco Associates. “It made it more attractive and easy for growers to attend, and getting the farmers there is our objective.”
King said it is a definite possibility the next meeting might be held again in some city in the growing area, either in Wilson or some other location.
Monday, April 6, 2009
As Posted to the New York Times
It is more than bank failures and rising unemployment that give these troubled times echoes of the 1930s. An unfinished labor battle from the New Deal is being waged again.
The goal is to win basic rights that farm and domestic workers were denied more than 70 years ago, when the Roosevelt administration won major reforms protecting other workers in areas like overtime law and disability pay, days of rest and union organizing.
That inequality is a perverse holdover from the Jim Crow era. Segregationist Southern Democrats in Congress could not abide giving African-Americans, who then made up most of the farm and domestic labor force, an equal footing in the workplace with whites. President Roosevelt’s compromise simply wrote workers in those industries out of the New Deal.
They were thus sidelined from the labor movement, with predictable results. Though the Dixiecrats have all long since died or repented, the injustice they spawned has never been corrected. Poverty, brutal working conditions and legally sanctioned discrimination persist for new generations of laborers, who are now mostly Latino immigrants.
In New York, advocates are pressing for passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, which would give these workers the rights that others have long taken for granted, as well as seek badly needed improvements in safety and sanitary conditions in the fields. Domestic workers, meanwhile, are seeking a “Bill of Rights” in Albany covering things like overtime pay, cost-of-living raises and health benefits.
A separate effort begun last week seeks to end these stubbornly lingering injustices for workers in all states by fixing federal law. It was announced on Cesar Chavez’s birthday by old lions of his movement, including Jerry Cohen, who as general counsel of the United Farm Workers helped win passage of a landmark 1975 California law that secured unprecedented rights for the state’s farm workers. The campaign has been joined by a growing number of labor groups and immigrant advocates, like Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, which represents migrant workers in the Midwest and North Carolina.
In both campaigns, advocates are counting on a changed political landscape to help their cause. But even with Democrats controlling the New York Legislature, the farm worker bill has languished. It faces fierce opposition from growers and has been eclipsed by the entropy and fiscal crises of Gov. David Paterson’s Albany. In Washington, labor advocates are preoccupied by different battles, like the fight for the pro-union Employee Free Choice Act. Other long-sought immigration reforms have taken a back seat to the budget and health care.But farm workers are used to long, hard slogs and pitiless heat and cold, with justice as their distant but inevitable destination. The advocates see President Obama and Governor Paterson as ideal candidates to take them there, and are not about to give up. “Any just national labor law reform must include farm workers and domestics,” Mr. Cohen wrote to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, stating an obvious and compelling truth. “If not now, when?”
Saturday, April 4, 2009
As Originally Posted to SFGate.com
Liberal Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas Republican who made a fine show in the GOP presidential primaries last year, find common ground today on hemp farming:
Their new bill, "The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 otherwise known as HR 1866, would remove restrictions on the cultivation of non-psychoactive industrial hemp. They claim nine other sponsors, nearly equally divided between the parties.
"It is unfortunate that the federal government has stood in the way of American farmers, including many who are struggling to make ends meet, from competing in the global industrial hemp market," said Paul, adding that some of the Founding Fathers who grew hemp themselves "would surely find that federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of a limited, restrained federal government."
Eric Steenstra, president of the group "Vote Hemp" added that with all the recent discussion about Mexican drug wars, "it is surprising that the tragedy of American hemp farming hasn't come up as a no-brainer for reform," calling the plant "a versatile, environmentally-friendly crop that has not been grown here for over 50 years because of a politicized interpretation of the nation's drug laws by the Drug Enforcement Administration. President Obama should direct the DEA to stop confusing industrial hemp with its genetically distinct cousin, marijuana." He said jobs "would be created overnight, as there are numerous U.S. companies that now have no choice but to import hemp raw materials worth many millions of dollars per year."
According to Vote Hemp, U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp "include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a California company who manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap, and FlexForm Technologies, an Indiana company whose natural fiber materials are used in over two million cars on the road today. Hemp food manufacturers, such as French Meadow Bakery, Hempzels, Living Harvest, Nature's Path and Nutiva, now make their products from Canadian hemp. Although hemp now grows wild across the U.S., a vestige of centuries of hemp farming here, the hemp for these products must be imported. Hemp clothing is made around the world by well-known brands such as Patagonia, Bono's Edun and Giorgio Armani."
Under current drug policy, industrial hemp can be imported, but U.S. farmers are not allowed to grow it. "The DEA has taken the Controlled Substances Act's antiquated definition of marijuana out of context and used it as an excuse to ban industrial hemp farming," Steenstra said.
As Posted at the Ottumwa Courier The layoffs will impact production workers with the least seniority and are effective April 20. “It is all about attempting to manage the cost of the business and we are committed to producing the number of products the market place is demanding,” said Ken Golden, company spokesman based in Moline, Ill. The reduction comes because of “reduced market conditions for the factory’s products,” the company said in a news release. Employees at the factory were told of the indefinite layoffs Tuesday afternoon. “We’re not in a position to determine whether or not more layoffs at any plant are going to be made or whether or not conditions improve and we call people back,” Golden said. “We are hopeful that conditions improve.” John Deere Ottumwa Works produces balers, mower conditions, windrowers and harvesters used by hay and livestock producers. There are about 1,000 total employees, 730 of them are production workers, Golden said. Last month the company said the Ottumwa plant could be shut down for up to 10 weeks this summer. The plant shuts down for at least two weeks during the summer, but the shutdown often gets extended based on inventory adjustments. The company shuts plants temporarily based on market demand for the products they produce. Golden said extended summer shut down is typical at the Ottumwa plant because they produce a seasonal product. The amount of time the Ottumwa plant will be closed this summer has not been determined and will not be effected by the layoffs, Golden said. He does not know when that will be decided. Deere & Company announced 325 layoffs last month in the construction and forestry division, which includes plants in Dubuque and Davenport.
OTTUMWA — Deere & Company announced Tuesday that 40 employees at the John Deere Ottumwa Works will be laid off.
The layoffs will impact production workers with the least seniority and are effective April 20.
“It is all about attempting to manage the cost of the business and we are committed to producing the number of products the market place is demanding,” said Ken Golden, company spokesman based in Moline, Ill.
The reduction comes because of “reduced market conditions for the factory’s products,” the company said in a news release.
Employees at the factory were told of the indefinite layoffs Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re not in a position to determine whether or not more layoffs at any plant are going to be made or whether or not conditions improve and we call people back,” Golden said. “We are hopeful that conditions improve.”
John Deere Ottumwa Works produces balers, mower conditions, windrowers and harvesters used by hay and livestock producers. There are about 1,000 total employees, 730 of them are production workers, Golden said.
Last month the company said the Ottumwa plant could be shut down for up to 10 weeks this summer. The plant shuts down for at least two weeks during the summer, but the shutdown often gets extended based on inventory adjustments.
The company shuts plants temporarily based on market demand for the products they produce. Golden said extended summer shut down is typical at the Ottumwa plant because they produce a seasonal product.
The amount of time the Ottumwa plant will be closed this summer has not been determined and will not be effected by the layoffs, Golden said. He does not know when that will be decided.
Deere & Company announced 325 layoffs last month in the construction and forestry division, which includes plants in Dubuque and Davenport.
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Shares of Whole Foods Market Inc. have skyrocketed more than 90% so far this year, as investors have cheered moves taken by the organic-grocery chain to cut expenses and improve sales during this current downdraft in consumer spending.
As Originally Posted to Market Watch
Story Originally Posted at the New York Times
As salmonella-tainted pistachios and peanuts fuel the latest in a series of food-borne-illness outbreaks, lawmakers are proposing a flurry of bills aimed at strengthening the country's neglected food safety system.
But while food industry giants that have long opposed new regulations are beginning to change their tune, small-scale producers are growing increasingly vocal about their own concerns.
The problem, they say, is that small farmers, who are most accountable for their food's freshness and health, may suffer the heaviest burden under proposed new food rules.
"A lot of people worry that what's on the books right now is very much geared toward the biggest agricultural players," said Patty Lavera, assistant director of the nonprofit consumer group Food and Water Watch. "It's sort of a one-size-fits-all approach, and when its one size fits all, it's usually written by the big guy."
Bills sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) contain measures that would ramp up federal oversight of farms and food processors, granting new inspection powers to the Food and Drug Administration, imposing agricultural standards for food crops, and beefing up record-keeping requirements that would help regulators trace a tainted food product to its source.
Large food processors that lost tens of millions of dollars from peanut product recalls and the resulting consumer wariness have begun to voice cautious support for the measures, with Kellogg CEO David Mackay last month telling Congress: "I think anything we can do to strengthen confidence in the food safety system in the U.S. is worth doing"(E&E Daily, March 20).
But small-scale farmers say the big companies have the funds and staff to comply with the rules, and that factory farms that specialize in mass-producing one item are better positioned to comply with mandates to establish food safety plans for every product they sell.
"A small farm is much more likely to grow multiple things and have a diversified approach," Lavera said. "So if they have to take 19 steps for each of those crops, it's much harder for them than a large farm that only grows one or two things."
Small farmers argue that they are already much more accountable to their customers for the quality of their product than are mass-production facilities, and that they will be crushed under the weight of well-meaning laws aimed at large industrial offenders.
Particularly burdensome are proposed standards for record-keeping, they say. While the DeLauro bill would allow for paper record-keeping, the Dingell bill mandates electronic record-keeping. Small farm operations fear that such a rule would involve establishing an expensive and time-consuming system that could put them out of business.
"The law requires that a food safety plan be written up and that the farms keep a record of the way it is administering the plans," said Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, a nonprofit advocacy group. "If it was scale appropriate and was mashed in with organic standards, it would be fine. But it's not."
Examining California program
A new California program that regulates leafy greens illustrates how small farmers who practice sustainable methods can be the unintentional targets of laws aimed at industrial offenders, Baden-Mayer said.
After investigators discovered that a 2006 E. coli outbreak in spinach may have been linked to animal feces on California farmland, the state developed new industry standards that advocate ripping out wild areas on farms to discourage wild animals from entering.
"Organic standards specifically say you are supposed to cultivate the wild land on your farm, and having the area filter water has a lot of benefits," Baden-Mayer said. "One of the principles is just that -- we're going to farm in a way that's not disruptive to nature."
While participating in the regulatory program is voluntary, E. coli-wary retailers are increasingly demanding compliance.
Farmers are seeing the same trend in voluntary FDA and Agriculture Department standards called "good agricultural practices," which include several common-sense measures such as hand-washing but can dock farms points if they sit within 2 miles of livestock.
Critics say the rules unfairly penalize small farmers who grow crops and raise cattle on the same farm, while failing to address what they believe is the root of the E. coli problem -- large, mismanaged feedlots that cram cattle together and spew waste runoff.
But even livestock on small or organic farms can carry pathogenic E. coli, and small producers should not be exempt from such guidelines, said James Gorny, executive director of the Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center at the University of California, Davis.
"Certainly, the risk increases with the number of animals per square mile. But there's no free ride just because you're a small producer," Gorny said. "Organic producers feel like there's a halo around their products with all aspects of food safety, and that's just not the case with microbial hazards."
Do regulators understand small farms?
Still, critics say regulators suffer from a lack of understanding of small farm operations, and that it shows when rules are drafted.
"The process of establishing these guidelines and turning them into standards that must be met to enter certain markets has been a purely technical one, and has not included organic or diversified farms as part of the discussion," said Russell Libby, executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association, in a newsletter.
Maine requires growers to meet the FDA's suggested guidelines if they want to sell their produce to the school lunch program.
Gorny said the proposed congressional food safety bills are intentionally broad to allow flexibility in the way they are implemented. Small farmers will have plenty of opportunity to weigh in during FDA public comment sessions before any specific regulations are set, he said.
Congressional aides say the bills are aimed at big industrial producers and will not apply to small farmers who sell only locally or to certified organic farmers who are regulated by the USDA.
But while many small-farm advocates support some of the increased safety measures in the bills, they say the language gives too little weight to a farming operation's scale -- a critical flaw that could unintentionally put them out of business."We don't think that if the bill were passed as it is, it would be implemented in a way that would harm small farms," Baden-Mayer said. "But why leave these things to chance?"
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
As Originally Posted at FoxBusiness.com
Green Gold Ray Energies, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: GRYE) expects tremendous supply for Crude Jatropha Oil at prices cheaper than the price contrasting with the recent soybean oil prices of about $0.32 per pound, or palm oil of $0.18 per pound. A large number of biodiesel plants in the U.S.A. have found soybean oil to be too expensive for use in biodiesel production, leading to a transition towards lower cost and lower quality feedstock.
The renewable alternative energy industry is booming and surging forward with demands globally. With fossil fuels not only being depleted but having been unfriendly to our environment due to pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the instability of the OPEC countries, and the volatility of oil prices; the demand for alternative energy and biofuels usage has never been more apparent.
Though the current crude petroleum prices are around $50 per barrel, several market analysts are projecting a rise to above $65 per barrel in the second half of 2009. The Biodiesel profit margins for processors/producers with an abundant supply of feedstock and flexible processing technology will in large degree correspond to the price of crude petroleum per barrel. This is the reason why GreenGold is continuing to expand its jatropha plantations via working alliances with various jatropha growers in Mindanao.
Six (6) out of the known twenty-two (22) Indigenous Tribal Groups of Mindanao have joint working alliances with GreenGold: the Higaonon & Maranao, of Lanao Region, the Manobo of Agusan Region, the Tiboli & Mandaya of Davao Region and the Sobanon of Zamboanga. GreenGold invites all the remaining tribal groups to ally with us as Jatropha growers.
A total of three (3) Biodiesel jatropha oil processing plants and Biodiesel Oil Refineries are targeted to be constructed by the end of 2010. Two are set in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) sites of Nasipit and Davao. GreenGold is anxious to acquire U.S. biofuel market share by constructing its 3rd Refinery in Southern Texas.
Currently GreenGold's Refinery Site in N.A.N.I.E. (Nasipit, Agusan del Norte Industrial Estate) is in the Stage I phase. The development project located in the villages of Camagong, Talisay and Sta. Ana at Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, has a land area of 296 hectares. The site is 18 km from the Butuan Airport and adjacent from the Nasipit International Port. This will become the industrial heartland of the Caraga Agusan Region.
N.A.N.I.E. has the following distinct advantages:
-- There are readily available skilled manpower of more than 4,000 who previously worked with the Nasipit Lumber Company
-- The area is an all season entry point to and from Cebu and Manila to Mindanao island
-- As an entry and exit point, it is the shortest land-access to the BIMP- East ASEAN Growth Area, home to a market of about 2 million people
-- Availability of cheap and abundant water and power supply
-- Network: a well paved road network and its proximity from the Butuan Airport allow for the efficient transfer of goods. This network connects NANIE to its six other Provincial Industrial Centers (IPCs) in the four provinces of Caraga and to other eco-zones in other regions. Alternative routes to increase travel efficiency are nearing completion
-- Airport: a well-maintained domestic airport approximately 20 kms to Bancasi Airport in Butuan City accommodates flights regularly to and from Manila and Cebu
-- Telecommunications, Courier Service: Philippine Postal Services and Home Entertainment; such as (a). ABS-CBN Regional Network Station in Butuan City (b). PrimeStar Cable TV; (c). FilProduct Cable TV; (d). DXRR FM Radio Station are all available too
Technology is a very important factor in the biodiesel business. This is the reason GreenGold has developed its own unique working alliances and comprehensive range of research and development to bring forth also into Texas, U.S.A. GreenGold's technology is designed to produce Biodiesel from jatropha oil, palm oil, and coconut oil, amongst others, and to conform to ASTM 6751 and EN 14214 Standards. GreenGold Ray Energies took advantage of these factors in beginning the distribution immediately, thus facilitating in the establishment of GreenGold's presence and accounts just in time to support domestic and international production capacities of 20-60MMGY.
GreenGold Ray Energies, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: GRYE: undefined, undefined, undefined%) is a rapidly growing biodiesel, green technology, environmentally friendly and alternative-renewable energy company. The Company has already solidified its position through a highly successful land acquisition program, acquiring large parcels of land through working alliances and joint venture partnership with landowners and growers, ideal for the cultivation of the jatropha curcas plant.
Jatropha curcas grows almost anywhere, even on gravelly, sandy and saline soils. Jatropha oil can be processed to produce a high-quality biodiesel that can be used in a standard diesel car, while the residue can also be processed into biomass to power electricity plants.
Forward-Looking Statements in this release include statements regarding the Company's projections regarding biodiesel, biofuels other alternative energy explorations and extractions in future periods. Penny Stocks are highly speculative and may be unsuitable for all but very aggressive investors. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.