Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Oil’s Epic Crash Reminds Farmers They’re Also Energy Traders

  • Crops used in biofuels production from palm to sugar tumbled
  • Lower oil prices will help American farmers during plantings
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

Oil’s nosedive is sending farmers a stark reminder: they also need to be energy traders.

Growers have become more vulnerable to energy swings over the past decades as nations from the U.S. to Brazil mandated the use of biofuels. About a third of America’s corn crop is used in ethanol, while Brazilian millers can use as much as 60% of their cane to make the biofuel. Asia’s palm plantations and Europe’s rapeseed crops are largely dependent on biodiesel demand.