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Current Corn News and Events, Corn News Articles.
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U of T scientists solve mystery of Giant's Causeway with kitchen materials
Physicists at the University of Toronto have cracked the mystery behind the strange and uncannily well-ordered hexagonal columns found at such popular tourist sites as Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway and California's Devil's Postpile, using water, corn starch and a heat lamp. Using a combination of field observation, experiments and mathematical theory, they have solved the problem of what decides the size of the columns. (2008-12-15)

Wind, water and sun beat biofuels, nuclear and coal for clean energy, Stanford researcher says
Biofuels, nuclear energy and coal are the worst choices for energy alternatives to petroleum products and wind, solar, geothermal, tides and waves are the best, according to results from the first quantitative, scientific evaluation of the proposed, major, energy-related solutions that assesses not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability and sustainability. (2008-12-10)

Managing carbon loss
The push for alternative energy has created a large demand for corn stover, a popular feedstock used to produce cellulosic ethanol, but utilizing these materials, rather than using it as compost, means a loss of soil organic carbon. Researchers have studied the effectiveness of alternative carbon augmentation practices and have reported positive results, as detailed in the November-December 2008 issue of Agronomy Journal. (2008-12-03)

Replacing corn with perennial grasses improves carbon footprint of biofuels
Converting forests or fields to biofuel crops can increase or decrease greenhouse gas emissions, depending on where -- and which -- biofuel crops are used, University of Illinois researchers report this month. (2008-12-02)

Plants grow bigger and more vigorously through changes in their internal clocks
Hybrid plants, like corn, grow bigger and better than their parents because many of their genes for photosynthesis and starch metabolism are more active during the day, report researchers from the University of Texas at Austin in a new study published in the journal Nature. (2008-11-23)

Study a step toward disease-resistant crops, sustainability
A five-year study that could help increase disease resistance, stress tolerance and plant yields is under way at Purdue University. The $4 million project uses a new technique called (2008-11-12)

Ethanol will curb farm income until economy rebounds, economist says
Ethanol helped drive two years of record profits for grain farmers, but also will hold income down during a looming recession that has already sliced crop prices in half, a University of Illinois economist says. (2008-11-10)

Corn researchers discover novel gene shut-off mechanisms
University of Delaware scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Arizona and South Dakota State University, have identified unusual differences in the natural mechanisms that turn off, or (2008-10-31)

Powered by olive stones? Turning waste stones into fuel
Olive stones can be turned into bioethanol, a renewable fuel that can be produced from plant matter and used as an alternative to petrol or diesel. This gives the olive processing industry an opportunity to make valuable use of 4 million tons of waste in olive stones it generates every year and sets a precedent for the recycling of waste products as fuels. (2008-10-29)

NSF funds research at Illinois on sustainable biofuels infrastructure
The National Science Foundation announced this month that it is funding a new research effort at the University of Illinois aimed at understanding how -- and whether it is possible -- to build sustainable infrastructure to support the emerging biofuels industry. (2008-10-27)

Cattle fed distiller's grains maintain flavor and tenderness of beef
The availability and use of wet distiller's grains in beef finishing diets continues to increase as the ethanol industry expands, and some Texas AgriLife Research scientists are trying to determine if that will affect consumers' meat purchases. While much of the research focus has been on the energy value of the distiller's grains relative to the corn it replaces, recent questions have been posed on how they may affect beef quality, said Dr. Jim MacDonald, AgriLife Research ruminant nutritionist. (2008-10-22)

Herbicide-resistant grape could revitalize Midwest wine industry
An herbicide that is effective at killing broadleaf weeds in corn, but also annihilated most of the grapes in Illinois and other Midwestern states, may finally have a worthy contender. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new grape called Improved Chancellor which is resistant to the popular herbicide 2, 4-D. (2008-10-14)

More flexible method floated to produce biofuels, electricity
Researchers are proposing a new (2008-10-14)

Hydrogen + corncobs (with a splash of boron) = fuel of the future?
The next alternative fuel in a vehicle's tank might be nothing more than gas with a little help from corn. However, instead of the usual petroleum-based fuel, this gas will be hydrogen, and the corn will be in the form of corncob-charcoaled briquettes. (2008-10-09)

Oklahoma researchers support biodiversity in biofuels production
US and European mandates for subsidies of cellulosic ethanol production and use have uncertain environmental consequences according to an international group of scientists which includes researchers from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. (2008-10-03)

More research needed to make good on biofuel promise, experts say
While cellulosic biofuels derived from grasses, crop residues and inedible plant parts have real potential to be more efficient and environmentally friendly than grain-based biofuels like corn ethanol, more research and science-based policies are needed to reap these benefits, says an international group of experts. (2008-10-03)

Thinking it through: Scientists call for policy to guide biofuels industry toward sustainability
As the United States and other nations commit to the path of biofuels production, 23 scientists call for sustainable practices in an industry that will, as MBL scientist Jerry Mellilo says, (2008-10-02)

Experiment demonstrates 110 years of sustainable agriculture
Researchers have shown that a plot of land on the campus of Auburn University that has been maintained by a century old practice of sustainable farming can produce similar cotton crops to those using other methods. This 110 year old continuous field experiment, called (2008-09-29)

Agricultural engineer suggests low-energy alternative to high-temperature grain drying
An Ohio State University agricultural engineer, Robert Hansen, suggests the use of low-energy grain drying to offset rising energy costs and improve grain quality. Under some circumstances, the technique can reduce costs by as much as two thirds, compared to more commonly used high-temperature grain drying. A related paper was presented by Hansen at the 2008 Annual International Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. (2008-09-24)

Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory professor David Jackson, Ph.D., and a team of plant geneticists have identified a gene called sparse inflorescence1, or spi1, that is essential in controlling development of the maize plant. It is involved in the synthesis of the growth hormone auxin, which among other things helps to shape structures such as leaves or the female organs (ears) and male organs (tassels) of corn. (2008-09-24)

New process derives 'green gasoline' from plant sugars
Alternative energy doesn't always mean solar or wind power. In fact, the alternative fuels developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical and biological engineering professor James Dumesic look a lot like the gasoline and diesel fuel used in vehicles today. (2008-09-18)

Giant grass offers clues to growing corn in cooler climes, researchers report
A giant perennial grass used as a biofuels source has a much longer growing season than corn, and researchers think they've found the secret of its success. Their findings should help develop cold-tolerant corn, significantly boosting per-acre yields. (2008-09-15)

New study says high grain prices are likely here to stay
An ethanol-fueled spike in grain prices will likely hold, yielding the first sustained increase for corn, wheat and soybean prices in more than three decades, according to new research by two University of Illinois farm economists. (2008-09-15)

Dartmouth researchers advance cellulosic ethanol production
A team of researchers have made a discovery that is important for producing large quantities of cellulosic ethanol, a leading candidate for a sustainable and secure alternative to petroleum-derived transportation fuel. For the first time, the group has genetically engineered a thermophilic bacterium, meaning it's able to grow at high temperatures, and this new microorganism makes ethanol as the only product of its fermentation. (2008-09-08)

MSU technology that converts plant fibers to biofuel commercialized
A Kansas company has licensed Michigan State University technology that uses enzymes from a microbe in a cow's stomach to create plants that can be more efficiently turned into biofuel. (2008-09-03)

Key discovered to cold tolerance in corn
Demand for corn -- the world's number one feed grain and a staple food for many -- is outstripping supply, resulting in large price increases that are forecast to continue over the next several years. If corn's intolerance of low temperatures could be overcome, then the length of the growing season, and yield, could be increased at present sites of cultivation and its range extended into colder regions. (2008-08-29)

Whether brown or red, algae can produce plenty of green fuel
Rose Ann Cattolico is convinced algae can be a major source of environmentally friendly fuels for everything from lawn mowers to jet airplanes. Now an investment company that works with universities to commercialize early-stage technology invested in the University of Washington biology professor's work, forming a startup company called AXI. (2008-08-27)

Consumption of nuts, corn or popcorn not associated with increased risk of diverticulosis in men
Contrary to a common recommendation to avoid eating popcorn, nuts and corn to prevent diverticular complications, a large prospective study of men indicates that the consumption of these foods does not increase the risk of diverticulosis or diverticular complications, according to a study in the Aug. 27 issue of JAMA. (2008-08-26)

AgriLife Research breeder develops drought-tolerant corn
At the end of the day, drought tolerance in corn has to equate to good yields and good quality, not just good looks, said a Texas AgriLife Research scientist. Dr. Wenwei Xu, AgriLife Research corn breeder from Lubbock, is working with crosses between temperate and tropically adapted varieties of corn to find a drought-tolerant plant that performs well under reduced irrigation. (2008-08-25)

Can biofuels be sustainable?
With oil prices skyrocketing, the search is on for efficient and sustainable biofuels. Research published this month in Agronomy Journal examines one biofuel crop contender: corn stover. Corn stover is made up of the leaves and stalks of corn plants that are left in the field after harvesting the edible corn grain. Corn stover could supply as much as 25 percent of the biofuel crop needed by 2030. (2008-08-19)

Iowa Corn Promotion Board, NJIT to license breakthrough, safe bio-plastic alternative
The Iowa Corn Promotion Board, NJIT and University of Sao Paulo today announced a joint agreement for licensing four pending patents on a safe, building block chemical derived from corn known as isosorbide to chemists. (2008-08-06)

Miscanthus can meet US biofuels goal using less land than corn or switchgrass
In the largest field trial of its kind in the United States, researchers have determined that the giant perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus outperforms current biofuels sources -- by a lot. (2008-07-30)

New UGA biomass technology dramatically increases ethanol yield from grasses and yard waste
University of Georgia researchers have developed a new technology that promises to dramatically increase the yield of ethanol from readily available nonfood crops, such as Bermudagrass, switchgrass, Napiergrass -- and even yard waste. (2008-07-28)

Limiting fructose may boost weight loss, UT Southwestern researcher reports
One of the reasons people on low-carbohydrate diets may lose weight is that they reduce their intake of fructose, a type of sugar that can be made into body fat quickly, according to a researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2008-07-24)

Study predicts crop-production costs will jump dramatically in 2009
Soaring energy prices will yield sharp increases for corn and soybean production next year, cutting into farmers' profits and stretching already high food costs, according to a new University of Illinois study. (2008-07-23)

Dioxin risk in soil and plant tissues after long-term biosolids application
Use of biosolids (treated municipal sewage sludge) on crops is a common practice because biosolids are a rich source of plant nutrients and organic matter. However, these biosolids can contain dangerous dioxins. Scientists at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (District) investigated the effects of continuous and long-term application of biosolids on the levels of dioxins in soil and corn tissues. (2008-07-14)

Improving swine waste fertilizer
Swine production generates large amounts of waste. While this waste contains nutrients that may serve as fertilizer when applied to agricultural fields, the ratio of nutrients in the waste is different than what a crop requires. Swine fed corn diets with more highly available phosphorus produce waste that has a nitrogen to phosphorus ratio closer to what a crop needs than swine fed traditional corn diets. (2008-07-08)

Iowa State researchers study ground cover to reduce impact of biomass harvest
Iowa State University researchers are looking at ways to use ground cover, a living grass planted between the rows of corn, in production farming. (2008-07-08)

Iowa State researchers win R&D 100 Award for ethanol project
A research team led by Hans van Leeuwen, an Iowa State University professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, has been awarded a 2008 R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine. The researchers are using fungi to clean up and improve the dry-grind ethanol production process. This is the 30th R&D 100 Award presented to researchers affiliated with Iowa State. (2008-07-08)

Where is your soil water? Crop yield has the answer
Crop yield is highly dependent on soil plant-available water, the portion of soil water that can be taken up by plant roots. Research published in the May-June issue of Agronomy Journal showed that measured plant-available water capacity correlated with corn yield better in dry years than in normal or wet years. Agreement between measured plant-available water and estimates was weaker in the claypan soils than well-drained soils. (2008-07-01)

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