Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

No-till Tilts Ethanol Energy Balance

Ohio Farmer
Compiled By Staff
June 19, 2008

Ethanol-based corn may be getting a bum rap, in light of the growing global food crisis, but the biofuel does have value, especially when produced using the right agricultural technique.

Growing corn for ethanol could be argued as environmentally justifiable, especially when farmers use no-till - a type of production technique that calls for minimally disturbing the soil and leaving residue behind to maintain soil quality and structure, according to Randall Reeder, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer.

"Ethanol has value as it's getting us started on bio-based fuels. Ethanol from corn is just a small part of much bigger factors that are adding up to have an impact on the world food shortage," says Reeder. "But the amount of our corn going into ethanol is so small that, by itself, it couldn't possibly have any substantial impact."

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