Miscanthus, Switchgrass Show Promise as Corn Replacements -- Study
New York Times
The Midwest could produce more food, more fuel, less nitrogen runoff and lower greenhouse gas emissions if farmers switched some corn plantings to dedicated energy crops, according to a new study.
A move from corn to next-generation ethanol feedstocks miscanthus and switchgrass could switch the Corn Belt from a net greenhouse gas source to a sink, according to the research, published in this month's edition of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
The paper, written by researchers with the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Colorado State University, the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service and the Energy Biosciences Institute, focuses not on the conversion of non-agricultural land to biofuels production but on how changed planting patterns could affect agricultural outputs and the environment.
Pointing out that 30 percent of the 2009 corn crop was dedicated to ethanol, the authors argue that redirecting the land on which that corn was planted could have a significant impact on domestic land use without triggering major food and feed market changes.
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 2011-07-15 09:40