Scientists want more ethanol research. ‘To ensure there’s enough corn to fuel humans as well as vehicles, scientists are urging more research into boosting corn yields and improving ethanol production. Many key issues related to expanding the nation’s ethanol industry aren’t being studied under current government programs, said Kenneth G. Cassman, director of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“It’s the core issue to ensuring that we don’t come up short in food supply, and don’t have high consumer prices, and can still maintain expansion of the ethanol industry,” he said. Cassman is co-author of “Convergence of Agriculture and Energy: Implications for Research and Policy,” a study released Tuesday by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, an international consortium of 38 scientific and professional societies.’
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) – Commentary Evaluating the Potential Impacts of Intersection of Agriculture and Energy. ‘Access to an adequate energy supply at reasonable cost is crucial for sustained economic growth. Unfortunately, high petroleum prices and the uncertainty of dependence on imports from politically unstable regions decrease the reliability of U.S. energy supplies and hinder economic development. Although biofuels have been identified as an important component of the U.S strategy to decrease dependence on imported oil, the ability to sustain a rapid expansion of biofuel production capacity raises new research and policy issues. A new CAST Commentary titled Convergence of Agriculture and Energy: Implications for Research and Policy seeks to identify the most critical of these issues to help inform the policy development process. The goal is to enhance the long-term economic and environmental viability of the biofuel industry and its positive impact on agriculture, rural communities, and national security.
Convergence of Agriculture and Energy: Implications for Research and Policy covers several critical questions, including: How much corn-ethanol needs to be produced? Can enough corn be produced for food, feed, and fuel? Can all coproducts be used? What are the environmental impacts of grain-ethanol systems? What are the economic impacts on rural development? and What are the research and policy implications of an expanded grain-ethanol industry?’