February 22, 2022
Thomas Quinn believes so strongly in ethanol as a fuel that he developed a startup company, E-Fuel, to pursue alternative ways to produce and use ethanol. He developed the Rejected Energy Reactor concept to produce alcohol for fuel from organic materials. The intriguing benefit, he says, is that the process results in net zero cost for adding additional carbon into the atmosphere.
At the same time, Quinn developed engines that run on 100% ethanol. His product, the Power Genest and Water Booster Pump, is running on pure alcohol, pumping irrigation water to fields in California. Working with General Motors, he says he has developed engines that are cost-competitive with diesel ones but operate on pure alcohol. Check it out at efuel100.com or see Invention seeks to greatly expand use of ethanol.
Unique biological product tested
What if you could introduce a biological competitor to a key disease and crowd out the disease organism? Corteva Agriscience believes the concept has merit. In fact, Brooks Coetzee of Corteva Agriscience says it’s an example of bringing science to biologicals and validating that biocontrol options work.
Currently, Corteva Agriscience is testing the concept in Europe. The company is seeing if a novel biofungicide containing a different strain of Aspergillus flavus fungus, a strain that does not produce aflatoxin, could outcompete the strain that produces the toxin. Early results are encouraging. Three years of testing indicates that when the novel strain was established in a field, 12 times less aflatoxin was produced. Aflatoxin levels in the test were below the European Union’s stringent level of 5 parts per billion. See more at Why biologicals will be important player in agriculture.
Novel carbon credits program
If you “farm green” and feel shut out by most carbon credit initiatives, here’s one that might help you open the door into carbon markets. Locus Ag recently introduced a carbon credit program where even growers who currently no-till or use cover crops can participate. Travis Kraft, part of the CarbonNow team with Locus Ag, says growers can receive up to $12 per acre per year for four years, with three-fourths of the annual payment paid upfront.
To be eligible, you must use one or both of two Locus Ag products. Rhilolizer Duo contains a beneficial bacteria and novel strain of yeast that helps plants mitigate stress. A novel yeast in Pantego splits the bonds of phosphorus molecules, solubilizing inorganic phosphorus. If you use both products, the cost will be about $6 to $8 per acre. Using the products increases carbon sequestration, spokespersons say. Learn more about CarbonNow at locusag.com or see Carbon program accepts no-tillers.
Comparing sustainable farming practices
The Climate Corporation, the company that produces and supports Climate FieldView, says it’s in the second year of a 10-year trial at two of its five U.S. research farms to determine how profitability compares for sustainable farming practices over time. Jared Webb, lead for the Climate Farm Research team, says the three main practices being compared to traditional farming methods for 10 years include no-till, cover crops and crop rotation.
Few neighbors use conservation methods around either the South Dakota or Martinsville, Ill., farms, Webb says. “We’re doing large scale trials on 40 to 80 acres, and we’re learning like everyone else,” says Josh Parcel, manager of the Illinois farm. See The Climate Corporation compares sustainable practices long term.
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