North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product
Farm Energy Production and Use Between Two Iowa Cropping Systems
Considerable capacity for biofuel production, both ethanol and biodiesel, exists in the state of Iowa. Many farmers sell their harvested corn and soybean grains to these markets. At the same time, energy is a large expense for farmers. However, energy use varies across cropping systems.
Through a SARE grant, Practical Farmers of Iowa compared two cropping systems for three years in northwest Iowa to examine differences in the energy expended and the biofuel produced. This fact sheet is a summary of their project results. Analysis of fossil fuel flow revealed that a more diverse cropping system was significantly more energy efficient than continuous corn. A three-year cropping system used significantly less energy to produce similar amount of energy than continuous corn in two of three years.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) LNC08-293, Bioenergy and Diversity from Sustainable Systems and Crops.
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Project products are developed as part of SARE grants. They are made available with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within project products do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.