Biorefinery could Fuel Grain Marketby Chris Moore, Freelance Writer
Capital Press, November 21, 2003
ONTARIO, Ore. -- Malheur County whet growers were apprised recently of the potential to market wheat, barley and corn, should the proposed Treasure Valley Renewed Resources Biorefinery become a reality.
John Hamilton, project manager for the biorefinery, told the assembled growers Nov. 10 at the annual meeting of the county's wheat growers that the company would expand future marketing opportunities for grains grown in Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho.
He said it is expected the plant will use 3 million bushels of corn, s.5 million bushels of wheat and 6 million to 8 million bushels of barley in production of the various products it would manufacture yearly.
TVRR is in the process of seeking various permits to proceed with development of plans for its refinery, which is unique, plant investors say. Upon completion, it will produce food grade, value-added induce food grade, value-added ingredients for many industries:
Hamilton said the plant would utilize wheat, barley, and corn from a six-county region - Malheur in Oregon, and Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Washington and Payette counties in Idaho.
The varieties needed may not be those that produce the highest yields on the local area, but the TVRR manager said premiums paid for desired varieties would be commensurate to what growers need to afford to grow the needed varieties.
"We will be willing to pay fair market prices and possibly premium prices to get the grains we need," Hamilton said.
Malheur County was the fourth-largest wheat-producing county in Oregon in 2003, with about 28,000 acres, which is down from third place in Oregon in the previous year, said Larry Price, Malheur County Wheat Growers president.
"This is because of the consistent and sufficient water supply available in this region," Price explained.
The Malheur growers association annual meeting also received a report on Oregon Wheat League activities, including the organizations efforts to gain drought relief for Columbia Gorge growers.
The importance of producing high-quality wheat for export customers, including growing the proper varieties for that market, was discussed by Andrew Ross, Oregon State University cereal chemist, and Tana Simpson of the Oregon Wheat Commission.
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