Well, Vet science was done at second tier places for a long time,
University of Queensland had vet science and a cat and dog hospital. Ag
engineering was pretty much all imported from the UK, milling and grain
was certificate level stuff run out of the TAFE/Ag College layer.
I seem to recall that most Vets had a certificate (like a trade
qualification) until well within my lifetime.
Universities have acquired big Ag Science areas at remote campuses in
the last 10 years or so of forced amalgamations.
DPI handled stuff "in house" until it was gutted about 10 years ago.
The Wheat Board was a "single desk" export co-op. The US-Australia FTA
has pretty much gutted it.
Ah, we've been growing things like Durum wheat here. Queenlands
wheatbelt is in warm temperate and subtropical climates.
Our combines have been evolving pretty fast.
The modern varieties put biomass into leaf formation and grain, little
stalk, suspect they are two to three times the mass per plant of the
earlier varities. Then there are forage crops, which are almost all leaf.
From my perspective, that's incomprehensible... :)
Who/what is DPI?
But there is a lot of hard white and red wheat grown as well somewhere
down there--otherwise we wouldn't be fighting so hard for market export
Duram is a spring wheat in the US grown in the northern areas as a
No faster than those here, I'm sure. :) Actually, that raises an
interesting question--is most of your ag equipment designed/built there
or is it from somewhere else, perhaps adapted to specific conditions?
Typical new machine for us--
One difference w/ us may be that we're all dryland in rain-limited areas
so that a variety which reaches 2 ft in trials where the rainfall is
adequate probably won't make that in most years for us. Add to that the
shorter than average heads and one is running the header on the ground
to avoid missing some heads.
Which was precisely my point which seems to contradict your earlier post
to which I responded, thus starting off this most interesting
Kind of like doing a nursing course at a hospital (Australia moved to
University bases nursing training only in the last 10 or 15 years) as
opposed to getting a degree in medicine.
Department of Primary Industries, each State has one.
Possibly in the far south of Western Australia. The US doesn't export,
it dumps, when it has surplusses, it undercuts us, then often can't
deliver in later years at any price. We can't do the same, the US
complains to the WTO. Also the US sunsidises farmers, we don't. And they
subsidise exports, we don't do that either.
The main chasis come from the US. Europe, China, but working gear is
usually added here. Very small market, for medium to large machines mostly.
We trial in the ares we grow, our farmers don't trust glossy books
without seeing a few hectares growin in their district. Good source of
income for those with highway frontage, grow sample crops with bigs
If it's cropland, it's growing crops. That takes some amount of
carbon out of the air. It is yet to be shown that converting
cropland (or non-crop greenspace) to fuel-corn increases
the amount of carbon sucked out of the air by exactly the amount
of carbon pumped INTO the air by burning the fuel-part, and
that's what you have to show for it to be "carbon-nuetral"
by one definition. (by another definition, you'd have to
show only that burning the corn-oil releases the same amont
of carbon that the plant concentrated in the first place.
Obviously this can be true only if you use the entire plant
for fuel. Which we don't, and probably won't)
By neither definition is there any particular reason to
believe that bio-fuel is actually carbon nuetral.
But carbon nuetrality isn't what we care about, anyway.
A simplified model is that we burn a certain amount
of carbon-fuel, adding that much carbon to the atmosphere (F)
If that fuel comed from corn-oil (or whatever) then
we have a certain amount of land growing corn, which will
suck a certain amount or carbon OUT of the air. Call that (C).
If, on the other hand, we get our fuel from dead dinosaurs,
then the land that WOULD be growing corn will instead grow
something else, and that something else will suck
a different amount of carbon out of the air. Call that (D)
The question that MATTERS is whether C > D.
My suspicion is that we'dd end up with less carbon in
the air if we go ahead and keep burning dead dinosaurs,
and use the cropland to produce things that permanantly
remove carbon, like CAF panels, construction-lumber, and
I'm not sure that that matters. The ratio of the useful part of
the plant to the non-useful part goes up. Which part has
more carbon in it? probably the part that makes good fuel.
It's quite possible (even likely) that the new varieties actually
INCREASE the carbon-per-acre.
All green plants get all their carbon from the air in
a process called photosynthesis.
This means all biofuels derived from plants get all
their carbon from the air. This means when you burn
biofuels and release that carbon all of it came from
a plant which took it out of the air in the first place.
This means that all biofuels are carbon neutral by
definition. It's an indisputable fact, a truism. It's
so obvious that people don't have to keep proving it
every time the use the term.
Sort of. It is pointless to grow a large amount of biomass without
preserving it, since the decay process releases all the carbon back into
the atmosphere. Even large biomass crops, like timber, reach CO2
equilibrium in only a few decades. Building materials sequester a lot
of carbon, not only in the lumber, but in cellulose insulation and other
manufactured wood products.
Unfortunately, the biosphere just doesn't have the capability of
scrubbing all the fossil fuel carbon out of the atmosphere. You would
have to cover all the arable land on the planet with crops, and then not
allow those crops to decompose, in order to keep up with the release of
carbon from coal burning.
Most of the fossil carbon on the earth takes the form of carbonate
fossils, like limestone, marble and chalk, which are fairly inert.
Little sea critters are still laying down their fossil shells, and over
the long run will remove all the carbon we are dumping into the
Except that it's not true. When you release CO2 into the air,
it doesn't matter where it CAME from. it only matters where
it would have gone if you hadn't burned it.
So the open question is whether growing corn for fuel
REMOVES more carbon from the air than would have been
removed had you not grown corn for fuel.
If you burn one ton of carbon in the form of dead dinosaurs,
that puts one ton of carbon in the air, if you burn one
ton of carbon in the form of corn-oil, that ALSO puts one
tone of carbon in the air. If you grow a ton-s worth
of carbon-bearing corn, and then burn it. The net effect
on the atmosphere is zero. If you grow one ton's worth
of carbon bearing corn and DON'T burn it, the net effect
is minus one ton. How much carbon is in the
parts of the corn that you don't burn? How much
carbon is in whatever would be growing there if you
weren't growing fuel-corn?
You get almost as much heat from burning the corn stover that's left over
after you've separated out the corn kernels. Why you need to burn the grain
itself is a mystery to me. Why not grow a crop more suited as a fuel?
Something with tiny seeds and a lot of stalk. Leafy spurge for example is a
very hardy weed that contains a good deal of oil and has been used in the
past as a heating fuel.
Corn is rarely grown for it's oil. A typical kernel of corn has 7-7.5% oil
content. Other crops are far better for this, such as oilseeds like canola,
which has 40-50% oil content. The remainder of the seed is a high-quality
animal feed. Where optimal conditions exist, canola can produce 500Kg of oil
per acre, or 17,000 gallons of crude canola oil per square mile. The vast
majority of available acres are far from optimal, so a much lower yield
figure is reasonable.
Using a realistic yield of 10,000 gallons per sq mile, the economics are
still a long way from feasible, compared to other fuel options. The
production costs alone for a square mile of canola is approximately $25,000
US. Add to this, estimated processing and distribution costs of another
$25,000, and the net consumer price for a typical gallon of biofuel canola
oil is likely to exceed $7 US. I'd say we have to experience a lot more
petroleum price increases for this to be a feasible alternative.
I'd extend that to say corn is never grown solely for its oil, but corn
oil is a significant product--where would MickeyD be w/o it, for
Q. What can be extracted from a bushel of corn?
A. The wet milling process yields approximately 31.5 pounds of starch,
which can be further processed into 33 pounds of sweetener or 2.5
gallons of ethanol. In addition, 13.5 pounds of corn gluten feed, 2.5
pounds of corn gluten meal and 1.6 pounds of corn oil can be extracted.
The extractable oil is in the germ and that seems a little high to me,
but in the ballpark, certainly.
Other crops are far better for this, such as oilseeds like canola,
At present, production costs for corn ethanol are lower than the going
price for gasoline and one would only expect that to continue to favor
alternate fuel sources in the long-range future. Last I saw was
something around $1.20-$1.30 for the raw material. Processing costs
were on the order of $0.30 iirc, so net delivered cost is something in
the near $2/gal range--significantly less than $3 gasoline. I know
processing costs have escalated some owing to higher energy costs, but
don't have any new data to know the overall impact.
Some area stations had E85 at nearly a full $1 less than regular
While I expect there to be a significant drop in oil prices to near
pre-Katrina prices and probably approaching $40/bbl again for a short
time in a year or so, the <$30/bbl days are gone forever in all
The only reason corn ethanol is that cheap is because of massive,
overlapping subsidies on both growing the corn and in processing it for
ethanol. A recent study found that it takes more energy to produce ethanol
than the ethanol contains.
Ethanol production subsidies have no bearing on the production cost of
the grain which is currently about $2/bu for feed corn--that used for
ethanol production doesn't need to be that good, even.
The "massive" farm program subsidies are more used for non-production
programs such as school lunch programs and food stamps.
The "study" of which you speak is both out of date in data and
for a more considered evaluation. Note that Pimental has consistently
not considered the value of the animal feedstock co-product in order to
make his conclusion in all studies I've seen.
Latest DOE studies vary from 1.3 to nearly 2, depending on the actual
You do realize corn oil is available it the grocery store .....
Corn is a good crop because it's commonly grown, it can be pressed for
oil, and mashed for ethanol, plus the distillers grains are used for
animal feed, so it has many by products.
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
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