Lakeview Energy, LLC is expanding its biofuel operations to Moberly.  After announcing its purchase of the former biodiesel plant at 607 West Fowler Road last week, Lakeview has already begun upgrades to the facility.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing some changes to its federal ethanol policy.

The agency proposed a cut to the amount of corn ethanol oil companies are required to blend in to our gasoline, as well as ambitious targets for low-carbon cellulosic ethanol, which is produced from grasses and other inedible parts of plants.

Under the Microscope: MU Researcher Experiments with Switchgrass for Biofuel

Apr 2, 2015
Brianna Schroer

Veterinarian Lynn Steele grows switchgrass on his farm to feed his hundred head of cattle.  He favors the wild-growing grass over other commercial feeds because it’s cheap.

“Even when the price is high [for switchgrass], it’s 4, 5, 6 dollars a pound for seed,” Steele said. “Indian grass and Big Blue Stem 12 and 15 dollars a pound. You get quite a bit of investment there.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is in line to serve as a leader of the Governors' Biofuels Coalition.

Wes Agresta / Argonne National Laboratory

A project to use a giant grass for a biofuel is back on the drawing board after several problems arose during a test burn.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Remember in the film Night of the Living Dead when the protagonist, Barbra, is running through the grassy hills to the forlorn farmhouse to escape her lumbering zombie of a brother?

Well, while recently reporting for Harvest Public Media, I spent time on farmland that looked eerily similar to the backdrop of George Romero's black and white magnum opus.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

In the parched, rolling hills of western Missouri, you might expect to see a desolate scene after this summer’s drought. But in this field, hip-high native grass sways across the landscape like seaweed in the ocean.

Wayne Vassar is growing these native plants for biofuel.

“They’ve had corn or soy on (this land) in the past,” he said, “and what’s happened was when you have these kinds of slope it erodes pretty rapidly and you lose a lot of your fertility as the top soil goes down the hill.”

Farmland experts call this kind of land “marginal land.” The hills make it difficult for the soil to hold onto the topsoil nutrients. And along the rivers and other flood plains, frequent flooding can deprive plants the oxygen they need to survive. It all adds up to an estimated 116 million acres in the central U.S.

Land like this might only produce a profitable harvest with traditional crops, like corn or soybeans, once or twice every five years. That’s quite a financial risk for farmers. So how can farmers avoid that risk factor and make sure such soils provide a consistent economic return?

Business Beat: February 8, 2012

Feb 8, 2012
Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

This week: Farmers buying up grain bins to help play the market. Plus, how refineries in Kansas and Iowa could help find another source of bio fuel.