Biofuel demand powers top Texas production for 2007.
For the first time in history, projections show the Texas agriculture industry will surpass $100 billion in economic impact for the state. This is well above the highest previous level of $85 billion in 2004 and a significant increase over 2005 and 2006, when drought plagued Texas.
"These new agriculture numbers are a great way to celebrate the Texas Department of Agriculture’s 100-year anniversary," says Commissioner Todd Staples. "Favorable weather conditions, new technology, and a second-to-none work ethic led to this record year."
Agriculture is one of the Lone Star state’s most powerful economic engines and the industry continues to boom, bloom, and grow. The agriculture industry employs nearly 2 million Texans and contributes approximately 9% of the gross state product.
Some of the largest increases this year are from crops used to produce biofuels. Production of grain sorghum was up an amazing 440% compared with last year, while corn production increased 91%. Both commodities are in demand because of the nation’s new focus on alternative fuels.
Texas is currently leading the nation in biodiesel production. Across the state, several ethanol plants are expected to go online in the next couple of years, and Texas farmers will continue to help fuel this expanding industry.
(Source: High Plains Journal)