Corn futures jumped for a while as everyone and his brother thought ethanol production would be the next Google on the stock market. Now, it’s sweet potatoes making news ( A group of researchers at North Carolina State University have found that the sweet potato can out-produce corn by quite a stretch.

But, there are pros and cons: the industrial sweet potato (edible but not palatable, according to the story) must be transplanted by hand, unlike the good old Irish potato which can be sliced up and replanted by machine. The good news is that researchers believe a new variety of the potato can nearly process itself from starch to sugar to ethanol. If they can find a way to get the ethanol into the gas tank - now that would be quite a feat. Oh, yes. That old supply and demand thing. But, with gas prices above $3/gal, maybe we will begin seeing more ethanol pumps in the next few years.

Companies like EMCOR, with more than 6,000 service vehicles on the road, are looking for better fuel options. How many HVAC service vehicles are out there running the highways and byways?

For now, like the song byAlabama says, “Song, song of the south. Sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth. Gone, gone with the wind. There ain't nobody looking back again.” Or is there? Anybody still buying brand new Ford Econoline vans at 12 mpg? What is your latest vehicle purchase for the company? (I hope at least one person made it a Porsche.)