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Welcome to the third supplement of YIELD, where we cover the business of food, fiber and agriculture.

Welcome to the third supplement of YIELD, where we cover the business of food, fiber and agriculture. In this issue, we focus on the early stages of some exciting new opportunities for ag--a new "third wave" of ag biotechnology. Biotech up to this point has been focused primarily on food, nutrition, and medical uses. In agriculture, we've seen biotech bring value to production agriculture. But this next "wave" focuses on applications for industrial uses and processes throughout our entire manufacturing economy, using biotech and renewable resource materials.

As our cover headline notes, it is the shift from a petroleum-based hydrocarbon economy to a carbohydrate economy. Biotech-enhanced manufacturing processes will be cleaner, more efficient and therefore, cheaper. One example pointed out by McKinsey & Co. at the 2003 Analyst Briefing on Industrial Biotechnology reveals that in the production of nylon, switching from traditional chemistry to industrial biotech processes yields a 75 percent reduction in capital equipment costs and a 50 percent operating cost reduction.

The "third wave" also has major implications for the world economy and the industrial nations' dependence on oil. The implications for agriculture have incredible possibilities, too. Researchers are now seeking enzymes that will unlock the full potential of biomass using harvest stubble from farmers' fields and sawdust from forestry products. For example, with the right enzymes, biomass can be used as the catalyst to produce sugar that is the raw material for such products as biodegradable plastics and ethanol, translating to less petroleum use and 90 percent less carbon dioxide byproduct.

Plus, public acceptance of this biotech application seems to be more favorable--even in Europe. And growing a bioeconomy could be the catalyst for a "rural rebound," bringing new jobs and investment to rural America.

In this issue, we feature three organizations that represent the future of this emerging industry sector:

1. Cargill Dow LLC continues to be one of the leaders in this movement with their new Ingeo fibers.

2. Genencor takes center stage by providing novel approaches to industrial production using biological processes and enzymes.

3. And finally, an overview of the dynamics of this industry from the leadership of the Biobased Manufacturers Association, which further illustrates the emergence of this industry sector and the players in it.

YIELD Mission

YIELD will cover the people, companies, technologies, financing and issues that are at the forefront of the dynamics we all are experiencing in these industries. It will focus on those leaders shaping it and those who are financing it.

The outlook for this newly defined industry is positive. A dialogue and greater understanding between all the stakeholders is the goal of YIELD. Your participation and input into this tool is welcome and encouraged.

Bill Schuermann

Doane Agricultural Services Co.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Doane Information Service
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Schuermann, Bill
Publication:Agri Marketing
Date:Oct 1, 2003
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