As the world tries to decrease its dependence on fossil fuels and switch to more environmentally friendly fuel, Elgin County is emerging as a leader in sustainable agriculture. The rural economy has benefited from the introduction of Biofuel facilities including an ethanol plant and Biodiesel facility.
Elgin County is an ideal location for creating energy from waste sources. We offer crops that would be suitable for biomass, such as corn stover, wheat and soybean straw on close to 300,000 acres. In addition to crop residue, Elgin also has a substantial livestock population with 130,704 animals combined from dairy, beef, swine and sheep, and an additional one million from chickens.
Almost half of the farms in Elgin County produce some type of Biofuel crops. These cropping practices can lead to other innovations within the sector. Elgin County has a vast edge over any other region due to its expertise, transportation routes and fertile soils, which bode well for the Biofuel industry.
The working relationships between the Biofuel companies and farmers in the community show a sense of local pride.
Biofuels promote the agricultural economy, stimulating the region with a greener and more environmentally friendly way of doing business. Fuels from wastes are a great example of how we can reduce our carbon footprint and create a better rural economy.
Source: 2006 Census of Agriculture and Strategic Policy Branch OMAFRA


Elgin County is home to an abundance of oilseed farmers. Just under half of the total farms in the County grow oilseeds that can be used for the production of Biofuels. 483 farms in Elgin County are involved in livestock production, which is a key component of the anaerobic digestion process. Making energy from waste will add a needed income source for lagging commodity prices.


  Elgin Ontario
Total Farms 1489 100% 57211 100%
Oilseed and grain farming 650 43.7 13056 22.8
Cattle ranching and farming 197 13.2 15989 27.9
Other animal production 173 11.6 7573 13.2
Other crop farming 158 10.6 8823 15.4
Vegetable and melon farming 99 6.6 1769 3.1
Greenhouse, nursary and floriculture 52 3.5 2822 4.9
Hog and pig farming 49 3.3 2222 3.9
Fruit and tree-nut farming 47 3.2 1892 3.3
Poultry and egg production 41 2.8 17000 3
Sheep and goat farming 23 1.5 1365 2.4

Source: 2006 Census of Agriculture and Strategic Policy Branch OMAFRA


Crop residues such as corn stover and wheat straw add different alternatives to farmers in Elgin County that can be used to produce biofuels.

The restaurant industry uses cooking oils to cook their food, and with easy access to these oils, biodiesel operations can flourish in Elgin County.

Biomass crops such as Miscanthus and Switchgrass are emerging as another potential candidate for replacing coal by 2014. Research trials in Elgin County are studying the agronomy and feasibility of the project.

Anaerobic digestion is another way that area farmers can use their waste to produce fuel on their farms. They can use manure and animal fats the produce heat or hydro to keep operating costs down.

Success Stories


IGPC Ethanol Inc. 

Established in 2007, IGPC Ethanol Inc. contributes significantly to the Renewable Fuels Industry and Ontario’s agricultural sector. By producing 200 million litres of denatured fuel grade ethanol and 170,000 tonnes of distillers’ grains, IGPC Ethanol Inc., has become a leader in Southwestern Ontario’s business community by creating environmentally sustainable economic growth.