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DuPont Recruits 500 Farmers for Non-Food Biofuel Project

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NiteOwl_OvO
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Re: Great Idea
NiteOwl_OvO   2/4/2013 3:10:20 PM
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Ann,


I don't believe anything from the federal government. Too many professional liers (politicians) there and DuPont is another one of those big chemical companies looking out for their bottom line. In this case, I'm sure DuPont intends to make a tidy profit from their biofuel project, so any claims they make supporing it should be taken for propaganda. I believe what I see with my own eyes or in this case my dad's.

Here are a few sources of good information:

Corn Stover to Sustain Soil Organic Carbon Further Constrains Biomass Supply

https://www.agronomy.org/publications/aj/abstracts/99/6/1665?access=0&view=pdf

Corn stover removal decreases soil carbon, impacts crop

http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/aganswers/story.asp?storyID=4635

GLBRC081: GLBRC Intensive Experiment: Corn Stover Removal Microplots

http://lter.kbs.msu.edu/protocols/131

CLMcDade
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interesting
CLMcDade   2/5/2013 4:42:23 PM
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The collection of comments have made for interesting reading.  I love the fact that a lot of the ideas are coming from different directions and points-of-view, but the exchange has been kept civil. 

Very interesting is the real world experiment set up by NiteOwl's father.  Regardless of the actual cause for the difference in crop yields (nitrogen, nitrogen depletion, erosion or no), I love the fact that he set the experiment up and had the patience and commitment to sacrifice a growing season to test a deduction.  He was obviously onto something as he has successfully improved his yields.  Kudos to him for his powers of observation, deduction and curiosity.

It would be an interesting follow-up to test the soil from the two types of fields to see what the real chemical difference are.  This would eliminate the off-site hypothesizing and references to questionable reports, a point that both Ann and NiteOwl seem to agree on.  That common point is of course, that data and reports provided by large companies (or entities since NiteOwl included the government) are largely suspect and most likely skewed for an ulterior motive.  (I think most of us can most likely agree with this point.)

Gorski
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DuPont and Non-Food Biofuel Project
Gorski   2/9/2013 4:10:57 PM
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While the goal of using waste corn products, leaves and stover, is admirable I wonder what the economics are like. It has been shown that ethanol costs more to make than it supplies in energy. Will this project produce the same result?

 

GORSKI PE

Constitution_man
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Re: depends on the cost and the benefit
Constitution_man   2/11/2013 2:36:21 PM
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About those people and countries that disagree with Nite Owl... they are more than happy to see the U.S. produce surplus grain for the simple reason that we GIVE IT AWAY or sell it under the market because it's politically popular.  If those countries that can't learn how to feed themselves want U.S. farmers to produce corn for food, then they should do the right thing and get out the checkbook or learn to farm.  Farming isn't a hobby and it isn't much fun when the fruits of the labor [and monumental ever-growing risk] are given away... causing the markets to be kept artificially low.  Why do we do it then?  Simple... because it is politically correct to keep food prices depressed.  Not a happy concept for the farmer.

 If you take the 1970 cost of an acre of land [a few hundred bucks], a 100 horsepower tractor [$10K] and a gallon of fuel [perhaps 14-16% of today's price] and then look at the same values recently... Land at $7000, the tractor at $135K, and the fuel at over 3 bucks... THEN look at the historical price of corn per bushel... it is only in the last few years that an American Farmer has "gotten a raise" while the rest of the country with little or no investment or risk gets  a raise almost every year.  Farmers have the right to market their crops as they see fit... PERIOD.  If DuPont offers them an affordable plan, so be it.

The world does not have a food supply problem.  Globally,we overproduce EVERY YEAR.  What we have is a distribution problem.  And no amount of handwringing over the idea of food-for-fuel will fix that issue. Farmers, in general, are sick and  tired of being the pawn in the international food chess game.

Constitution_man
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Re: depends on the cost and the benefit
Constitution_man   2/11/2013 2:38:40 PM
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Well, Mr. Scientist... better sell  your car.  Only a fraction of the fuel energy it consumes actually turns into motive effort.

j-allen
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Re: Great Idea
j-allen   2/11/2013 3:45:55 PM
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Very interesting experiment.  Have you submitted a paper to an agronomy journal or conference? 

j-allen
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Re: Great Idea
j-allen   2/11/2013 4:33:15 PM
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You don't believe anything from the Fed. Gov't?  Would that include government funded research?  For example, would you reject a doctoral thesis or scientific paper which was, at least in part, paid for by a Federal agency such as DOD, EPA, NSF. etc?  If so, then is any scientist who accepts government money ipso facto dishonest and corrupt? 

 

I do share your skepticism over statements by DuPont unless they have passed through a peer reviewed journal. 

 

NiteOwl_OvO
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Re: Great Idea
NiteOwl_OvO   2/12/2013 11:51:11 AM
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j-allen,

My post was not intended to offend anyone except those who are beyond caring. To clarify my statement, I don't believe any public statements and/or publications produced by the government. Those have all been put through the pollitical propaganda machine. Any valuable information that goes through there has lost it's credibility by the time it's published. That does not necessarily include studies that were funded in whole or in part by the government. I don't trust single sources of information, especially statistical studies. Single sources and statistical studies are indicators that additional research, real research, should be considered. By themselves, they are not proof or at best they are very limited proof.

In college, I briefly worked in a university research lab, which depended on donations and grants for funding. I participated in the colating and processing of data collected and preparation of documents for publication in journals and preparation of materials for presentation at conferences. Based on this experience, I know how statistical data is molded to support a goal. When the data is totally unsupportive, the research goal is adjusted to a new angle that can be supported or the experiment is redone with slightly different parameters and the unsupportive data is buried. That process continues until you have a goal and data to support it or you run out of funding. The lab I worked in started out doing good, valuable research, but later when the research failed to produce findings significant enough to warrant further research it became a case of publish or die.

j-allen
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Re: Great Idea
j-allen   2/12/2013 12:42:11 PM
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Nite Owl,

Thank you for the clarification.  Your story describing what amounts to fudging statistical data is distressing.   May I ask in what field or area of science this was happening?  I know that in my areas of physics and engineering, the editors and reviewers would be expected to nail such monkey-business. 


I am sure your father's experiment took all possible precautions against biased results and used only the best practices in analyzing results.  Again, has he published? 

NiteOwl_OvO
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Re: Great Idea
NiteOwl_OvO   2/12/2013 3:53:44 PM
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j-allen,

It was medical research. Nothing life threatening. In fact they were trying to find a way to help improve the quality of life for people with a very common health problem. I'm not sure if they were successful.

My father chose not to publish anything, but did provide the information to other local farmers. My dad was a do-it-yourselfer and he was a very private person. He built what may have been the first pull-type corn planter with fold-up wings. I remember a few factory reps dropping by to take pictures of it. Later, he would smile when he saw the shiny new factory planters with fold-up wings.

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