Farmers could run farm operations with biodiesel using 5-7 percent of acreage

February 7, 2011 |

In Washington state, microbiologist Hal Collins and agronomist Rick Boydston, of the  ARS Vegetable and Forage Crops Research Laboratory in Prosser, report that it could take anywhere from 50 to 70 acres for a farmer with 1,000 acres and an onsite crusher and biodiesel facility to grow enough canola to produce the fuel needed to run on-farm operations.  The team also found that in field trials, camelina plants produced an average of 2,000 pounds of seeds per acre in 80 days, which translates into 700 pounds of oil—and eventually 93 gallons of oil—per acre. Safflower plants, meanwhile, produced around 3,000 to 3,500 pounds of seeds per acre, and white mustard seed meal could also be used as an organic fertilizer after the seeds were crushed to extract the oil for fuel.

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Category: Research

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