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March 03, 2008


Gottsch Cattle Company

From your last sentence: Might there be a case to be made that the most environmentally friendly crops could be both genetically modified and organic?

If market conditions changed and the target crops were then sold for human consumption: Would the organic market place accept a genetically modified seed?

biofuel bay

I see biofuel made from algae more likely...


As part of my MSc course I have researched the potential for organically produced biofuels.

Organic farming is not plausible for large scale biofuel production. Organic farming will require significantly more land than conventional farming. The life-cycle GHG emissions from organic farming are equivalent if not worse than conventional farming (in terms of emissions per unit biofuel, the emissions are lower per hectare of farming land).

Another key factor is that organic farming operates on a rotational cropping basis. This means that crops for biofuel production are produced only 20-40% of the time.

Cellulosic biofuel production could use organic feedstocks and this may prove competitive. However first generation biofuel production from organic farming is not only impractical and expensive, it is actually undesirable environmentally.

Mark Palmer

Thankyou Stewart for your interesting comment. Do you have any information about whether the situation is different for different crops, or is that more detail than can be fitted into an MSc project? Does anyone else reading this have any such information?


What if there was a crop that was native to the southwest, adapted to low water use, resistant to local pests, could be planted as a perennial, utilized a variety of native pollinators in addition to honeybees, produced biomass, oil and starch (good for most types of biofuels), and was currently being grown organically?
Would there be any interest in it?

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