News From the Field
Testing the Water for Bioenergy Crops
August 29, 2011
Water use has been left out analysis of converting cropland from corn to higher-yield biofuel crops like miscanthus or switchgrass. A University of Illinois study found that miscanthus and switchgrass lose more water than corn and predicts a resulting reduction in soil moisture and runoff, but an increase in atmospheric humidity. Areas that rely on irrigation could have less water to meet higher demands, which could increase the net cost of land conversion.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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