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The annual winter weed field pennycress may yield an oil-rich seed for use in making biodiesel and an organic fertilizer and natural fumigant.

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MapMuse.com has an interactive map of biodiesel and ethanol 85 fuel stations in the United States.

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Regarding David Pimentel’s talk at the November Farmer to Farmer Conference (printed in the March-May MOF&G): I would like to point out that pure ethanol will be the only fuel that will be able to power gasoline engines when remaining oil deposits become too scarce to supply world energy needs. Any comments about ethanol must be done in comparison with gasoline, which it can replace, not in a vacuum, as Pimentel has.

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Congress has approved $5.7 billion in federal tax credits to support the ethanol market, in addition to the $10 billion U.S. corn farmers annually receive in subsidies. While the corn-industry-lobbying-machine has President Bush predicting ethanol will replace gasoline, the science behind corn-based ethanol suggests that this alternative fuel may be more about politics than an actual solution to the energy problem.

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Toki Oshima drawingThe benefits of biodiesel have generated considerable interest in Maine, especially in the environmental and agricultural communities. Biodiesel is chemically converted from vegetable and animal fats to be similar to diesel, but with lower regulated emissions and better health effects in most respects.

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