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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE July 21, 2014

Comment: Reassessment of Inter-related Biofuel, GHG and FFV Policies Needed

by 25×25  •    •  Posted July 21, 2014

Some exciting research underway in South Dakota is measuring over five years the change in soil carbon from continuous corn crops under different yield levels and different residue removal levels. The early results indicate that modern, high-yield continuous corn grown using conservation-till or no-till is sequestering more carbon each year than prairie grasses. However, the full potential of our nation’s farms, ranches and forestlands to produce climate change solutions cannot be realized unless the administration gets the policies right. [ read more … ]

Satellite Shows High Productivity from U.S. Corn Belt

By Kathryn Hansen, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center  •    •  Posted July 21, 2014

The research could also help scientists improve the computer models that simulate Earth’s carbon cycle, as Guanter found a strong underestimation of crop photosynthesis in models. The analysis revealed that carbon cycle models – which scientists use to understand how carbon cycles through the ocean, land and atmosphere over time – underestimate the productivity of the Corn Belt by 40 to 60 percent. “If we don’t take into account irrigation and other human influences in the agricultural areas, we’re not going to correctly estimate the amount of carbon taken up by vegetation, particularly corn,” Joiner said. “Corn plants are very productive in terms of assimilating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This needs to be accounted for going forward in trying to predict how much of the atmospheric carbon dioxide will be taken up by crops in a changing climate.” [ read more … ]

Low corn prices favor new type of ethanol in Brazil

by Gustavo Bonato; REUTERS  •    •  Posted July 21, 2014

Low corn prices in Brazil following a bumper crop are worrying farmers but providing favorable margins for an incipient corn-ethanol industry, said the manager of Usimat, the first Brazilian mill to produce the corn-based biofuel. Usimat, located in a remote, corn-producing part of Mato Grosso state in central Brazil, plans to increase corn-based ethanol output to 100,000 tonnes this year from 67,000 tonnes last year. [ read more … ]

Obama admin provides $12.6M for breeding plants for energy

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted July 21, 2014

The departments of Energy and Agriculture yesterday announced funding for 10 projects aimed at genetically breeding plants for bioenergy. The awards will advance research to improve bioenergy sorghum, discover how poplar trees respond to changes in the length of the day and nutrients available, and explore how switchgrass adapts to cold weather, among other projects. [ read more … ]

Panel kicks off probe of national labs’ effectiveness

Robin Bravender, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted July 21, 2014

With the Energy Department’s national laboratories system under siege from critics, an independent panel today launched a review of the 17 federal energy labs. The Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories kicked off its first public meeting this morning at a daylong meeting at DOE’s headquarters at the James V. Forrestal Building in Washington, D.C. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.