The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it is making 160 payments to subsidize second-generation biofuels that aren't made from corn.
The total amount of the payments depends on the volume of fuel produced by the subsidized companies, the agency said Thursday. The money will go to companies that make biofuels like ethanol without using corn, such as fuels made with crop residues, animal, food and yard waste material, and other feed stocks.
There is growing criticism of biofuels made from food crops, which is helping drive the price of food higher. About 40 percent of the annual U.S. corn crop goes to ethanol production.
The payments are authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill.