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85racer

Water For Food, Or Ethanol? Easy Choice.

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Of course, these are usually the people that think that all the corn grown in the midwest is canned and stocked on supermarket shelves.  Duh.

 

even in the "cornhusker state" of nebraska, you will find "city folk" who honestly think that the yellow field corn that is grown in mass across our state, is simply cooked to soften it up, then either canned or frozen for them to buy in the suppermarket...  when you point out the difference between #2 yellow field corn, and sweet corn... you get the "oh, well, it would just be used to feed cattle or pigs then"..., but then the "it still does, just in a more concentrated higher quality lower waste way..." argument simply blows their mind.

 

These are often the same folks that think feeding corn to cattle and pigs is wastefull... that if we simply grew more soybean acres, that we could feed the word tofu and soyburgers...

 

Again, hard to argue with stupid.

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The lowest cradle-cradle carbon footprint crops are currently Corn Stover and Miscanthus. Miscanthus is twice as productive as switchgrass. Moreover, it has been found to have a negative cradle-cradle carbon footprint when including land use changes.

 

Corn stover delivers the same carbon footprint with and without land use change considerations. That means, however, one need not choose between food and fuel crops. With new harvesting equipment separating biofuel stock from the corn, we can fuel our vehicles and eat it too (or at least the livestock can)!

 

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/wang-20130122.html

 

http://miscanthus.illinois.edu/wp-content/uploads/growersguide.pdf

 

http://news.illinois.edu/news/08/1202soilcarbon.html

 

http://agriculturalmachineryengineering.weebly.com/uploads/9/0/5/7/9057090/spb2013.pdf

 

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Truly what should be done is what Plymouth Energy and Plymouth Oil set out to do but because of 2008 never happened. Hopefully these two, side by side, companies can still make it happen. Do fractionation of the corn kernel and send the starch to the ethanol plant and process the germ into food grade kosher corn oil and food grade corn germ flour. That flour has no gluten and has water soluble fiber. Both are great for people and when pizza dough has had it included at the 20% level, it tasted even better. It makes great cookies----the list goes on.

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I saw a study that Iowa State has been working on of growing corn no-till in a sod of regular old blue grass to hold the soil, and provide carbon input into the soil stucture...  when the corn gets tall enough that it would be shading out the sod, they apply a chemical (ewe, a icky chemical...) to make the bluegrass go dormant for the peak of the summer... like it does in my neighbors yard.

 

As the corn is thinning out in late summer, and beginning to dry down (when weeds normally start to germinate), the blue grass springs back to life. 

 

When they harvest the corn, they can harvest darn near the whole corn plant for stover collection, minus the bare minimum of the standing stock, and root mass.  This means more stover collection, and with the blue grass, less soil erosion, and more carbon sequestration through the grass roots and top growth...

 

Interesting strategy.  Would love to see it in practice.

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My thoughts about this "study" ---- This quote about the authors is revealing:

 

"The authors of the new paper have long questioned the United States' support of biofuels as a means to cut vehicle emissions."

 

Yup- if you have a preconceived notion and design a study to prove it--you get what you expect. ;D

 

Perhaps we should just continue to burn fossil fuels and have even more "climate change". As far as irrigation in Wisconsin-- IF climate change is real and we do get more erratic weather then since rainwater (and irrigation water) infiltration rates are very high here- we will need to (and can) use the groundwater table for storage without worry of recharge. After all- few pivots were even started this year except for to move them out of the way for planting and we have had enough rain/snow in the last several months to replenish any dip in groundwater levels. A little known fact here is that the corn watered here in the Golden Sands is far more likely to be sweet corn for food than field corn and even more likely to be used for potatoes, green beans, carrots, onions, peas, cranberries, etc. It could also be used for irrigating alfalfa. I propose the authors should either cease eating vegetables and drinking milk in addition to- mercy me, beef, lest they deplete groundwater. Perhaps the authors should move away from dry California to a wetter place like maybe Ohio/Pennsylvania where they can have more water as long as the frack water does not go into the wrong spot. Just don't come to our Great Lakes and want to pump it all the way to say--CO, NM, AZ, or CA  ;D

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I hope they have some way to control the japanese beetles that would inevitably result...

 

One doesn't need a miscanthus crop to draw japanese beetles. They ravaged the boston ivy growing on my home last summer. A late season milky spoor application on the lawn and flower beds is supposed to control the pest. We'll see how effective that remedy is as the season progresses, but so far, so good.

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I saw a study that Iowa State has been working on of growing corn no-till in a sod of regular old blue grass to hold the soil, and provide carbon input into the soil stucture...

 

Erosion, evaporation, and albedo are nicely controlled by this technique. A complete harvesting of the corn plant including the stover is probably necessary to prevent smothering the grass. Could mulching the grass cut after harvest assist nitrogen fixing?

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One doesn't need a miscanthus crop to draw japanese beetles. They ravaged the boston ivy growing on my home last summer. A late season milky spoor application on the lawn and flower beds is supposed to control the pest. We'll see how effective that remedy is as the season progresses, but so far, so good.

 

Heh, I've fought those little b******s for the last 7 or so years.  I can tell you a few things.  First and foremost, milky spore does not work.  I used it for several years, as directed, with no change in grub damage to the turf grass in my lawn. 

 

Second, as far as damage from the adult beetles, even if you put chemical grub killer on and kill every last grub in your lawn, the adult beetles will just fly over from your neighbors.  You'll never see a change in the number of beetles.

 

Third, they seem to be adapting to chemical pesticides.  It no longer seems to be killing them like it used to.  I can go spray them with Sevin, and they just keep crawling around.  Maybe a few die, but that's about it.

 

Having turf grass planted in all the fields, in my opinion, would be a nightmare scenario in terms of beetles.  I really think they need to look at something else for soil retention.  Using a grass doesn't make sense, because the grubs mainly feed on turf grass roots.  There are plenty of other ground covers; find one that the japanese beetles don't like, or even better, repels them.

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last year, the catalpa tree in our tiny back yard was in FULL bloom (growing quite rapidly)...  we had an infestation of "soldier beetles" (look like lighning bugs/fireflies with no glowing butts, similar to boxelder bugs)...  litterally 10's of thousands of them.

 

The lady at the nursury store said we were lucky, as they are a polinator, and a benofitial insect...

 

Last year our white fir tree for the first time had ZERO aphids, no grub damage and the beetles were minimal, causing no noticible damage.

 

So if you are battling these things... plant a catalpa tree and attract soldier beetles.

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