Date of Award

1-1-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Chiara Piovani

Keywords

Ethanol, Fuel Savings, Sustainable Farming

Abstract

The subsidization of corn-ethanol has proven to not live up to the original promises made when it was promoted as gasoline additive. With research pointing to ethanol as a source of increased greenhouse gases emissions and other pollution while merely changing energy consumption, not decreasing it, an alternative that achieves the original goals of is sought. I propose that sustainable farming practices have the ability to decrease the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels while decreasing emissions and pollution related to farming. By looking at the adoption of 3 year rotations, fertilizer banding, and zero tillage farming in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota, I find a significant decrease in energy consumption and pesticide, herbicide, and synthetic fertilizer use through decrease in field operation and conservation of soil tilth. The adoption of these sustainable practices in these four states has the ability to conserve the energy equivalent of over 1.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel per year. Current promotion of diverse cropping systems and minimal tillage through policy by the United States Department of Agriculture shows that these sustainable farming practices are applicable in other regions throughout the United States.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Brandon John Weiland

File size

75 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Agriculture economics, Energy

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