With crude oil sitting comfortably in the $65-$70-per-barrel range for some time now, the chatter surrounding alternative fuels has cranked up to something closer to a rumpus, or perhaps even a hullabaloo. (Whichever one's louder.) Here are some of the past week's noteworthy events:

Corn champ stalking sugarcane star?
Reports late last week suggested that leading corn ethanol producer Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) plans to enter the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol market. ADM already holds a small stake in world-leading 'cane producer Cosan, and said it hadn't ruled out a full purchase of the firm. For its part, Cosan isn't standing around waiting for a proposal. Its announcement this week of a planned NYSE listing may leave ADM saying "Aw, shucks." But there's more than one way into the Brazilian market. It may even prove to be more economic for ADM to build capacity from scratch.

Instead of blubbering about the price of oil ...
... why don't we use that extra animal fat we've got lying around? That seems to be the thinking behind Tyson Foods' (NYSE:TSN) entry into the biofuel bonanza. The company announced Monday that it's partnering with synthetic fuelmaker Syntroleum (NASDAQ:SYNM) to open a 75-million-gallon-per-year plant that will convert cow, chicken, and pig fats into diesel and jet fuel. Tyson already has a similar initiative in place with ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), but the Syntroleum product, scheduled to come online in 2010, would be petroleum-free.

Separating the wheat from the chaff
Grain purveyor Associated British Foods is also getting into the act, launching a wheat-ethanol plant with BP (NYSE:BP) and DuPont (NYSE:DD). At first I thought the Brits might be confused, because they have historically referred to all grains as corn. (Economic history buffs may recall the protectionist Corn Laws that David Ricardo so forcefully railed against.) But no, it turns out that wheat can also be a fuel source. The proposed plant is scheduled to begin output in 2009, with capacity exceeding 110 million gallons.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't own shares in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy helps avoid any confusion.