Farm Energy Production and Use Between Two Iowa...

Farm Energy Production and Use Between Two Iowa Cropping Systems

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 .

Product specs
Year: 2012
Length: 3 Pages
Author(s): Sarah Carlson and Rich Schuler
Location: North Central | Iowa
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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.