UW-Madison researchers explore the future of bioenergy crops in Wisconsin

Corn crops in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, as in many other parts of the Midwest, we grow a lot of corn – four million acres of it, in fact. That’s four million acres of corn generating $2 billion in economic benefits to the state. Since roughly a quarter of those corn crops are currently used for ethanol production, some of that Wisconsin corn is also finding its way into our gas tanks.

"Corn has incredible benefits for biofuel production,” says Claudio Gratton, professor of entomology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “You get a ton of biomass very quickly, it has a market, and we know how to harvest it. But there are costs associated with it, too, environmental costs.”

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Sustainable cropping systems