A new video from the National Corn Growers Association provides a summary look at the Agricultural Energy Symposium, a one-day research and policy briefing on hot ethanol issues held in Washington. The event provided an up-close and in-depth look at key bioenergy and biofuels sustainability issues, helping bridge the gap between research and policy on such hot topics as land use change, carbon neutrality, life cycle analysis and biomass sources.
"Farmers are producing a growing volume of energy for this country in the form of corn-based ethanol, so the future of biomass and producing it sustainably is a critical issue for agriculture," said Bart Schott, NCGA president and a corn farmer in Kulm, N.D. "Our role will continue to grow, which is why National Corn Growers Association feels it is important to facilitate the kind of dialogue that took place at this symposium."
The video covers the four main panel topics at the November symposium:
• During the Carbon Neutrality panel, experts discussed the ways in which the U.S. corn crop, both grain and stover, absorbs and sequesters carbon. Corn growers play an important and positive role in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• The Biomass panel provided an in-depth look at how domestic renewable biomass from crop residues and forests provide numerous opportunities to supply American consumers with energy and fuel.
• Experts also provided a complete picture of the impact of fuels during the Life Cycle Analysis panel. Speakers looked at the numerous ways of calculating fuel impacts and the importance of conducting analysis that is consistent across all fuel types.
• And during the International Land Use Change panel, experts addressed the legislative and regulatory policies behind issue of land use change. With biomass production per unit of land continuing to increase and modeled impacts not coming to fruition, an agreed-upon approach has yet to be determined.
More than 100 people were on hand as the symposium helped raise awareness of the issues that the agriculture industry and corn growers currently face when it comes to agriculture-based fuels.