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Advisor

Iowa producers...what say?

Surely someone here is familiar with this. And how do baled corn stalks fit in? 10s of Thousands of them have been put up around here, apparently slated to "be hauled down to Iowa" for bio energy processing. Does the removal of the stalks make the soil more or less suitable for sequestration? Or no affect? http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/opinion/iowas-climate-change-wisdom.html
21 Replies
Advisor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

Maybe wrong forum. Moderators feel free to move.
Senior Advisor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

Destroys the organic matter. Cover crops will help but won't be enough. Where is this organic plant and how many stalks will they use? What is left over after they are processed? Anything to haul back onto the fields?

Advisor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

I suppose N IA S MN can sustain that better than most.

 

Hard to overemphasize the impact of improved soil structure I've seen on C IN timber soils over the last 30 years. Partly the abandonemnt of the moldboard plow but mostly residue management.

 

A matter of cockeyed government policy encouraging stupid things.

 

Using biotechnology to create a leguminous cover crop that was adapted to norther climates would net a lot more energy although I doubt the Kochs are going to fund the research.

 

Curious if you think about it- if you net out energy by not having to use it that doesn't add to GDP. Running stover through a Rube Goldberg machine to make liquid fuel does, I guess. Kind of reminds me of the time Obama (correctly) pointed out that a tire pressure guage nets more energy than some complicated programs to the scathing derision of the high info crowd.

Senior Contributor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

I
Senior Contributor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

I don't know where all these solar panels are. I heard the round bales were rotting on the lot and they were selling them to the dot for roadside mulch. Corn stalk bales are not worth the fertilizer it takes to replace them.
Advisor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

I haven't heard about the plant requiring organic stalks.  Not all that many of them and the org. Growers that I know put great value the plow down. 

Advisor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

There are some being installed near Lake Crystal MN, right next to a corn ethanol plant. Drove up by them today and it doesn't seem to to be too expansive unless there are more going up.

 

As for articles like this one I've read scores over the years written for non-farm publications where the reporter says "farmers are doing"  this or that when it is often some individual or small group that has cayhgt there eye.  Most particularly some about keeping water on the land via wetland conservation and restoration, all while every square foot in the watershed was being pattern tiled.

Senior Contributor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

Most of the locals in nearby towns don't have a clue what goes on out here. I wouldn't expect anyone at the NY times to understand. 

Advisor

Re: Iowa producers...what say?

Agree.