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Billyk24

LOL! Minnesotans grew tobbaco as a cash crop-in the past

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Would you believe as much as 2.9 million pounds harvested in 1930!  

 

Goggle  Tim Hoheisel column.   What is the chance the new tobacco strain can be grown in the Midwest?    Then again, what modification are needed to the corn ethanol plants to process tobacco?

 

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Morning Billy

 

"It says that one acre of tobacco can replace between eight to 12 acres of corn and soy. 

 

 

US - A company based in Virginia is using genetically modified tobacco as a feedstock to produce both ethanol and biodiesel.

 
Plant sciences company, Tyton BioSciences, focuses on engineering plants for industrial applications and in particular the design and production of superior feedstock for biofuels. 
 
The company is based on technology developed at The Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories established by one of Tyton’s founders, Dr Hilary Koprowski.
 
The company says its new genetically modified tobacco can make both ethanol and biodiesel from the same plant at higher yields per acre than most other sustainable fuel crops – especially corn and soy.
 
It says that one acre of tobacco can replace between eight to 12 acres of corn and soy.
 
And the by-products from producing ethanol and biodiesel are glycerine, F1 proteins for animal fed and nitrogen rich by products for fertiliser.
 
The developers say that the crops have an advantage because they are a non-food crop and they have a low lignin content that allows the sugars to be released more easily.
 
The biomass is also processed green and does not need curing.
 

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Thanks for the link there... some more info.  Can be harvested multiple times a growing season (sort of like harvesting alfalfa)... could possibly be timed for near constant supply in season.  I don't know if they would be able to store it for the off season (October-July).  Then again, this could be when the plant uses corn!

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Significant acreage of tobacco was once grown in Wisconsin- particularly in an area from Jefferson to Madison to Janesville/Milton, Another area was in western WI up in the hills and valleys of Vernon and Crawford counties (south of Lacrosse) The western WI stuff was for cigar wrappers and came in two types- hill (needed more sunlight) and valley. No reason those areas could not produce again for fuel purposes though the western fields were often 1-3 acre plots too small for mechanization but for hand harvest of high value tobacco it paid off- might not for fuel.

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I'm loving the idea of how difficult it would be for someone to transfer the "food not fuel" argument over to tobacco. "Ethanol is causing our cigarette prices to go up"... "tobacco is for cigarettes and chewing, not fuel"! Boy, it seems like it would be a lot harder to pull that one off.

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What most of us don't know is the difference in processing tobacco verse corn into alcohol.   Can existing corn plants be modified/fitted for such a process?  Or have flexible capabilities so they can use both feedstock.

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Significant acreage of tobacco was once grown in Wisconsin- particularly in an area from Jefferson to Madison to Janesville/Milton, Another area was in western WI up in the hills and valleys of Vernon and Crawford counties (south of Lacrosse) The western WI stuff was for cigar wrappers and came in two types- hill (needed more sunlight) and valley. No reason those areas could not produce again for fuel purposes though the western fields were often 1-3 acre plots too small for mechanization but for hand harvest of high value tobacco it paid off- might not for fuel.

If you can get more than three times the ethanol yield from tobacco per acre than corn, it would be easy to make it viable. Far easier to harvest than cattails, and they yield far more than corn per acre, but you need flowing water for cattails. Right now I am planning to use maple tree sap, since I have a few hundred of them on my land. If I could make tobacco work, you bet I would.

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I'm loving the idea of how difficult it would be for someone to transfer the "food not fuel" argument over to tobacco. "Ethanol is causing our cigarette prices to go up"... "tobacco is for cigarettes and chewing, not fuel"! Boy, it seems like it would be a lot harder to pull that one off.

I would love to see somebody try and make that into a sympathetic arguement, corn is easy since it's a common food source for animals and humans, but tobacco however...............:)

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