The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon explore the feasibility of offering crop insurance to producers of biofuel feedstocks ranging from straw to corn stover to woody biomass. This feasibility evaluation, to be funded by the Risk Management Agency, builds upon the USDA's ongoing effort to insure growers of switchgrass, energy cane and camelina.
After closing 70 of the island's 156 sugar mills as part of a restructuring plan in 2002, Cuba recently changed course and plans to triple sugar production to 3 million tons in order to produce alcohol from sugar cane. The plan means a huge increase over the 1.2 million tons of sugar to be harvested this year, and is brought on by the surge in sugar and ethanol prices, and expectations of further increases. Half of the land that was occupied by sugar cane before the 2002 restructuring has since