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Farm-scale costs and returns for second generation bioenergy cropping systems in the US Corn Belt

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Title Farm-scale costs and returns for second generation bioenergy cropping systems in the US Corn Belt
Title of Series Environmental Research Letters, Volume 8, 2013
Author Manatt, Robert K.
Hallam, Arne
Schulte, Lisa A.
Heaton, Emily A.
Gunther, Theo
Hall, Richard B.
Moore, Ken J.
License CC Attribution 3.0 Unported:
You are free to use, adapt and copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in adapted or unchanged form for any legal purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
DOI 10.5446/39481
Publisher Institute of Physics (IOP)
Release Date 2013
Language English

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Subject Area Physics
Abstract While grain crops are meeting much of the initial need for biofuels in the US, cellulosic or second generation (2G) materials are mandated to provide a growing portion of biofuel feedstocks. We sought to inform development of a 2G crop portfolio by assessing the profitability of novel cropping systems that potentially mitigate the negative effects of grain-based biofuel crops on food supply and environmental quality. We analyzed farm-gate costs and returns of five systems from an ongoing experiment in central Iowa, USA. The continuous corn cropping system was most profitable under current market conditions, followed by a corn–soybean rotation that incorporated triticale as a 2G cover crop every third year, and a corn–switchgrass system. A novel triticale–hybrid aspen intercropping system had the highest yields over the long term, but could only surpass the profitability of the continuous corn system when biomass prices exceeded foreseeable market values. A triticale/sorghum double cropping system was deemed unviable. We perceive three ways 2G crops could become more cost competitive with grain crops: by (1) boosting yields through substantially greater investment in research and development, (2) increasing demand through substantially greater and sustained investment in new markets, and (3) developing new schemes to compensate farmers for environmental benefits associated with 2G crops.
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the 1st generation of bioenergy largely revolves around corn grain ethanol which currently dominates the U.S. file markets national targets preparing rather not production of or even met conversely despite
the availability of natural and infrastructural resources second-generation or 2 G however fields of lag behind nations Our research examines the probability of novelty GE crop insistence which have a variety of potential benefits most notably improved soil and water quality reductions in fertilizer inputs and greenhouse gas emissions and greater carbon storage capacity the second-generation feedstocks might also avoid potential competition between food and fuel systems which many people find problematic we analyze Farmgate concentrations of 5 trapping systems from an ongoing experiment in central I call the landscape Parliament's project systems analyze included a continuous corn system a 3 year rotation incorporating corn soybean triticale sort of double cropping systems a switch grass monoculture plant into corn for the 1st year in and of course the system were triticale is in intercropped with hybrid aspen gonna continuous corn crop insistently the most probable under current market conditions 2nd was the corn soybean tricky rotation followed by a corn switchgrass systems particularly hybrid aspen system and the highest yield over the long term but could only surpassed by a continuous corn given higher than expected by expressed particularly sorghum
double cropping system was deemed unviable due to high management and hot spots given these
results it's no surprise that the area under form production in the midwestern United States has risen
steeply when the past decade broadly speaking realization of the environmental benefits promised by teaching bio energy crops hinges on the economic performance relative to great that's we perceive 3 ways to key systems have become more dust edited 1st boosting to GE crop yields substantially greater investments in research and development 2nd the long and see that this is the thing
that have have finally developing new ways to compensate farmers for environmental benefits associated with converting to to G profits
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