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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Plant Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #260855

Title: Alfalfa: a companion crop with corn for bioenergy

item Jung, Hans Joachim

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2010
Publication Date: 11/17/2010
Citation: Jung, H.G. 2010. Alfalfa: a companion crop with corn for bioenergy [abstract]. In: 2010 Minnesota Forage Research Symposium, November 17-18, 2010, St. Cloud, Minnesota. p. 11.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Corn grain-based ethanol is the major form of biofuel production in the USA. However, there are concerns about growing corn in rotation with soybean or as a continuous corn crop for ethanol, including high energy inputs, high soil erosion potential, and high nutrient inputs and loss to the environment. Concerns have also been raised about diversion of grain from food and feed uses to bioenergy production, and land use shifts from set-aside programs like CRP to corn production. Incorporating alfalfa into rotation with corn offers an opportunity to maintain biofuel production and alleviate the negative impacts related to continuous corn production. At the same time, this crop rotation would fulfill the food and feed needs for starch and protein.