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E-M:/ RE: / Thank you for info: "what else does one do with manure?"



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Enviro-Mich message from Timberland RC&D <timrcd@iserv.net>
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Now you've hit on a real issue. (Not that I'm bored by the exchange about 
sludge vs. compost, but we have been through it before, and this one is a 
little hotter in my opinion.)

I agree about the ethanol situation. It's understandable that farrmers, who 
are hurting financially as a result (in my opinion) of the impact of 
industrial farming, would like to see some "value" added to their crop 
production -- and there are advantages to trying to replace some of our 
energy needs with this type of process. However, in the long run, this will 
probably turn out to be another dead end. I saw a Canadian researcher give 
a presentation last year and she said there is just no way that the land 
can support even enough crop production to replace 10% of our energy needs 
with that type of biofuel. (I unfortunately can't remember if she limited 
her research to Canada, but I believe not -- I think she looked at U.S. 
too.) If the farmer can't get a decent price for commodity crops, then 
switching the focus of what those crops are used for will probably just 
result in a larger amount of stuff the farmer can't get a decent price for. 
And in the meantime, the amount of available food decreases.

In Grand Rapids there is a project getting underway which uses WASTE 
cooking oil to create biodiesel, which will be used to run buses. I think 
there is much more hope for energy source use of corn stover and other 
grain byproducts, for example, and consideration of what can be taken out 
of the waste stream to use for biofuels.

In the short term, this helps the farmer out only minimally. But if there 
could be more education on some of these issues associated with 
agribusiness, and if considering issues/conflicts like this can be a 
catalyst for more discussion of how to make the food system work better (at 
the production end and the distribution end), in the long run I think 
farmers will be helped greatly.

Cynthia Price
wearing my "Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council" hat

-----Original Message-----
From:	Lowell Prag [SMTP:lprag@mail.msen.com]
Sent:	Monday, September 30, 2002 7:44 PM
To:	Enviro Mich
Subject:	E-M:/ Thank you for info: "what else does one do with manure?"

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Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
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On Mon, 30 Sep 2002, WIMS wrote:

> Lowell, Ken and others,
> Check out these and other resources from the Michigan Biomass Energy
> Program...
> at: http://michiganbioenergy.org/

Yes, thank you.

That is the site I was trying to remember which might be helpful to Ken in
finding engineers in Michigan with the best expertise on anaerobic
digesters.

I am opposed though, to the below.

There are much better ways to create fuels, other than growing grain crops
to produce ethanol. That method is a bit of an obscenity, given that half
the world is starving and the grains could be put to much better use.

> Energy Crops In Michigan - (9/10) A new discussion paper on energy
> crops is available from the Michigan Biomass Energy Program. The paper
> provides basic energy crop information, explores opportunities and
> constraints for the development and use of energy crops, and discusses
> crops that could be grown in Michigan. The use of energy crops for
> power generation is a primary focus of this paper. Access the complete
> paper -- ENERGY CROPS and Their Potential Development in Michigan
> (click here).



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