On today's program live from the Louisiana Farm Bureau convention, Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain addresses agricultural topics, including trade with Cuba and the sugar industry and its response to trade with Mexico.

Travis Lux

Ethanol is by far the most commonly produced biofuel in the country. But it has some problems. For one, its only about two-thirds as efficient as gasoline.

“Secondly,” says Dr. Donal Day, “ethanol has a serious problem in that it likes to pick up water. Why is that a problem? You cannot move ethanol in a pipeline because it’ll cause corrosion.”

Day is a researcher at the LSU AgCenter’s Audubon Sugar Institute, where researchers are trying to find ways to produce biofuels and bioproducts from the sugars found in Louisiana plants – like sweet sorghum and energycane.

We've survived the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, when rich, sweet treats come at us non-stop. Now is the season of reform, when gym memberships, cleanse books and weight-loss plans sell like gangbusters.