According to a Michigan State University scientist, “using productive farmland to grow crops for food instead of fuel is more energy efficient.” They analyzed this for 17 years’ worth of data to help settle the food versus fuel deate. So growing corn is quite efficient versus grain. LLya Gelfand, an MSU postdoctoral researcher and lead quthor writes, “it’s a 36% more efficient to grow grain for food than for fuel. The ideal is to grow corn for food, then leave half the leftover stalks and leaves on the field for soil conservation and produce cellulosic ethanol with the other half.” Other studies have looked at energy efficiencies for crops over shorter time periods, but this MSU study is the first to consider energy balances of an entire cropping system over many years.
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