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Conference to examine biofuels, food and feed tradeoffs

The rapid growth of the biofuels industry is generating demand for grains, particularly corn and soybeans, as evidenced by corn prices near $4 per bushel. The explosion of the biofuels market demand is also raising concerns about the use of natural resources and the potential impacts on global markets for food grains and feed grains.

These issues will be examined at Biofuels, Food and Feed Tradeoffs, a conference sponsored by Farm Foundation, USDA Rural Development and the USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses. The conference will be April 12-13, 2007, at the Marriott St. Louis Airport, St. Louis, Mo.

Biofuels, Food and Feed Tradeoffs will feature the latest research on the short- and medium-term impacts of increased biofuel production on food and feed markets in the United States and worldwide. Challenges will be examined in four key areas — environmental, production, distribution and logistics. Business strategies and policy initiatives will be explored. Participants will be asked to help identify future research needs. A tentative conference program is posted on the Farm Foundation Web site, www.farmfoundation.org.

This is the fourth in a series of conferences Farm Foundation has helped organize on the topic of agriculture and energy. Previous conferences addressed issue related to agriculture as a producer and consumer of energy, agriculture’s role as an energy producer, and risk management issues related to energy. Presentations from those conferences are available on the Farm Foundation Web site.

Registration for the April 2007 conference is $160 if paid by March 21, after which the fee will be $200. Registration can be done online at www.farmfoundation.org. A special room rate of $119 plus taxes, single or double, is available for reservations made by March 21. Room reservations should be made directly with the hotel, Marriott St. Louis Airport, (800) 228-9290.

For more information contact Steve Halbrook, vice president, Farm Foundation, steve@farmfoundation.org.

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