Searching for Alternative Fuels - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Searching for Alternative Fuels

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PASCO, Wash. - As gas prices hit record highs, some farmers might be considering growing fields for alternative fuels.  One local college professor says not all crops are created equal.

Tim Woodward is the Director of Research and Development at Columbia Basin College, and has been breading alfalfa for over 20 years.   He's looking into what kind of feedstock would be the best at producing ethanol and  biodiesel fuel in Washington.  After testing 32 different varieties of feedstock, his studies show soybeans would be the most profitable for biodiesel and corn for ethanol.  That means more money for farmers who grow soybeans or corn and more alternative fuels for the state.    

"We've had to import oil to fill our cars and today we need to find other alternatives in order to break away from some of that foreign oil," said Woodward.

Woodward says you could make about $1000.00 dollars an acre growing soybeans for biodiesel fuel, the same amount you could selling corn to make ethanol.