More food, more fuel, by switching to Miscanthus

Converting corn cropland to Miscanthus will result in an a 82 per cent increase in bioenergy feedstocks and switch the US Corn Belt from a net greenhouse gas source to a sink, according to research published by Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.


The research paper points out how the switch from corn to next-generation ethanol feedstocks, Miscanthus and switchgrass, could produce more food, more fuel, less nitrogen and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Colorado State University, the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service and the Energy Biosciences Institute, focused on how changing planting patterns could affect agricultural outputs and the environment.

Both switchgrass and Miscanthus are considered potential biofuel energy crops. Both are species of perennial grasses and switchgrass is already grown on federal Conservation Reserve Program land, while Miscanthus produces twice the yields compared to switchgrass or corn and has minimum agricultural inputs.

During 2009, 30 per cent of the 2009 corn crop was dedicated to ethanol. The research points out 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. The researchers used a computer model, known as DAYCENT, to stimulate how soil nutrients, carbon exchange, nitrogen runoff and other factors would change if alternative biofuel crops were grown instead of corn crops.

If only 30 per cent of the lowest-productivity corn cropland were converted to miscanthus growth, a 82 per cent increase in bioenergy feedstock would be created. Nitrogen leaching would be reduced by 15 per cent to 22 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions would fall between 29 per cent and 473 per cent.

The research confirms the strong advantages of bioenergy crops and points out which biofuel crops are the most beneficial in a given location.


About Insight group PLC

About Us Insight Group PLC is a leading private investment company based in the thriving city of Cape Town, South Africa. With offices also located in Mozambique, Gambia and the financial hub of Hong Kong; Insight Group PLC is perfectly positioned to provide clients with investment opportunities and expertise unsurpassed in today's marketplace. We take great pride in our ability to provide our clients with quantifiable confidence in everything we do. Our ability to achieve this and meet the varying needs of all of our clients stems from the fifty years of experience in the financial, media, commodities and property sectors of those leading the organisation's success. Chairman of Insight Group PLC, Alfonso Rivera Revilla, is a respected Accountant and Lawyer in Europe with over 25 years of experience in working with high-end investors who want to get the most out of their personal finances and their businesses: "In these difficult economic times, it is critical to protect your wealth. Traditional strategies, such as high interest rate accounts, no longer give people a worthwhile return. At Insight Group PLC, we're excited about the fact we offer investment opportunities that other's can't - including the big banks and funds. We personally seek the most competitive investment options for our clients and put them in touch with our industry experienced and respected Wealth Management Specialists (click here if you'd like to work for us). "We are confident in everything we do, contact us to share in that confidence and to reap the rewards." View all posts by Insight group PLC

One response to “More food, more fuel, by switching to Miscanthus

  • Donnell Amunrud

    I like this weblog very much, Its a rattling nice situation to read and incur info. “Death is not the worst thing rather, when one who craves death cannot attain even that wish.” by Sophocles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: