Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
This past legislative session, the General Assembly refocused the state’s approach to bio-energy development. Instead of putting money into the nonprofit Biofuels Center of North Carolina, the legislature shifted funding and responsibility to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The General Assembly’s budget provides $900,000 this fiscal year and $1.5 million next year to support the development of energy production from North Carolina agricultural or forestry-based products. The funding will support five positions, operating expenses and a grant program. Bio-energy development will be part of the department’s Research Stations Division, and will be based at the Oxford Research Station.
The focus will be on research and development of dedicated feedstocks for biofuels production. Cellulosic ethanol facilities and similar bio-based industries will provide opportunities to grow farm income in North Carolina, Commissioner Troxler says. By leveraging current technology, developing more applied technology and identifying the gaps, the state can help farmers and the biofuels industry move forward.
Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss bio-energy development in North Carolina.
[Audio:http://info.ncagr.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Troxler_12-17.mp3|titles=Today’s Topic for Dec. 17]
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