Energy Issues Affecting Corn/Soybean Systems: Challenges for Sustainable Production (IP 48) speaks to energy issues within the corn/soybean production system as a model for understanding the complexity of addressing global energy challenges. Research and development is needed to find ways to lower adoption barriers for energy-conserving practices and develop management systems that allow agricultural production to meet multiple demands. The challenges include (1) a growth in biofuel production directly from corn/soybeans coupled with a simultaneous growth in oil and agricultural commodity prices, and (2) the ability of the motor fuel infrastructure to handle an increased volume of ethanol, biodiesel, and advanced biofuels. The authors propose a landscape vision for sustainable corn/soybean systems that is feasible and could be done efficiently and economically if there is a desire and public willingness to do so. It would, among other things, provide sustainable grain and biomass feedstock supplies for the bioenergy industry, protect water quality, lessen producer/environmental risk, and promote biodiversity. Chair: Douglas L. Karlen, USDA—ARS, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa.
IP48, January 2012, 16 pp. Available free online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
Anthony Turhollow, Jr.
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