USDA and the Department of Energy, together will provide $8.3 million in funds for 11 biofuels research projects. Universities and research groups nationwide will receive the money for the projects.

The agencies' goal is to move biofuel development beyond ethanol production that requires corn. "These grants diversify the research portfolio by looking into new ways to develop cordgrass, rice and switchgrass in renewable energy sources," says USDA Secretary Mike Johanns.

Mississippi State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University received the greatest share at $1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

Source: USDA,