Scientists studying potential benefits of switching cotton to bioenergy crops

Research is looking to the possibility of switching out cotton

Farmers that may have once used their land for certain crops may suddenly find new uses, particularly as the agricultural market experiences significant changes. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture are currently conducting a study to determine the benefits if cotton farmers in the southwest Cotton Belt were to change to a switchgrass.

The researchers are trying to determine if making the move to switchgrass could affect the area’s carbon balance, greenhouse gas emissions and hydrologic cycle. If these changes were to happen, it might reduce the amount of dependence the U.S. has on other countries for alternative energy.

The goal is to determine if transitioning farming systems “can expand our capacity to produce environment-friendly fuels in a manner that does not compete with primary food and fiber production and benefits the environment through the conservation of existing resources,” said lead researcher Dr. Nithya Rajan, an AgriLife Research agronomist.

Similar research has been conducted in the past, but Rajan points out that the majority of land-use change research has simply examined the change between natural and agricultural systems and vise versa.

As the agriculture industry continues to change, farmers need to be at the top of their game. This means they need to have the right equipment, and saving money to boost profit could be a smart business move. IronPlanet has this covered, as it features equipment for all different kinds of farming needs. From buying balers in order to keep up with maintenance or sprayers to keep crops healthy, IronPlanet has numerous models in stock and frequently for a fraction of the price that one would pay buying new.


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