- February 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm #42465
Here’s an article w/ a youtube video clip of a farmer I visited who’s growing oilseed (camelina) and processing it into fuel for his tractor (biodiesel). He’s got a lot of different ideas as to what other added value products – camelina can be grown w/o using pesticides (unlike canola) and therefore the pressed meal can be used as organic animal feed – really high protein >20%. I think he was getting ~$280/T. He also said the meal works well as, of all things, clumping cat litter (his barn cat peed on some).
Also, you can graze the plants early in the season and still get decent seed production.
Take that Exxon/Mobil.February 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm #65805blue80Participant
I attended the UWYO ag day in Powell, one of the demos was an oilseed presentation, with a press from Germany.
They grew camelina in dryland and irrigated lands and did a cost feasibiility study over a couple years etc. etc.
I have all the paperwork here if you are interested, but it may also be available through the UWYO extension…February 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm #65801
Sure thing – I’ll try and see if UWYO extension has that info. I met the guy in the above video at a WSU extension oilseed workshop so there was some data associated with that.
I think the German presses are from a company KOMET – now there’s a US company in WI that handles presses (although they have some German parts) – Agoilpress is the company name.
Also, the commercially produced biodiesel processor from the video was built by www. usfreedombiofuels.com – although many people have built their own.February 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm #65806
While I commend this technology as human endevour, I have a real problem with growing crops for fuel. I fail to see how “growing” fuel for a tractor can be more efficient than using draft animals… plus its the fact that this crop only grows on good arable land whereas a horse can graze marginal/steep land for fuel..
JohnFebruary 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm #65804gwpokyParticipant
I’m with you. I had been researching biodiesel since my college days and thought it would be great: grow my fuel, wasted a few years trying to figure the economics of that out then came back to the tried and true draft horse: home grown fuel, fertilizer as a waste product, my customers rave about the fact that their food is grown with the help of draft horses, that they have met, they need now additives to start in the winter (they start better than me most days:D). This list could go on and on the problem is our culture is all about automatic and push button, no wonder so many people are unemployed, no one actually wants to do any real work. Anyway I am rambling I’m sure you get my point.
Looking forward to a wonderful springMarch 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm #65802
Let me make a couple of points in defense of biodiesel. First – I think the tractor is the easiest route to try out biodiesel (rather than one’s pickup) in fact it’s almost the only thing he can do at this point – the rig needs to stay off the highway as you’re not paying any fuel tax ’cause you’re not buying fuel and thus aren’t “paying” highway use tax in reality. Same as buying dyed off-road fuel. Second, while many of us use our animals to reduce our use of petro based machines and for plenty of other reasons as well, it is highly unlikely that many of us here are completely free from using petroleum based fuels – even if you ride the bus, catch a lift with a friend or hitch-hike, you’re taking advantage of petro fuel. So what do we do?
I think it’s too easy to look at one’s own situation and say “why doesn’t everyone just do it like me?” The world doesn’t work that way. Realistically, animal power alone can not solve the world’s energy problem and there is going to be the need for some type of more powerful and faster motive power than horses (although they do a wonderful job in many applications). So how do we address those needs?
Biodiesel is not the end all to our needs but IMO is one tool in the shed we can quickly access to stop the crazy petroleum based merry-go-round we are riding. Also, while we might be able to switch to some other fuel source for power we also need to find alternatives for other petro stuff – lubricants, hydraulic oil ….. lots of petro-based stuff out there. The best part is when someone gets out of oilseed production for biodiesel, they can either continue growing for other oil markets (food grade or lubes etc) or rotate to another crop or crop system. In addition, one can potentially get dual use from some oilseed crops with some quality grazing early and still able to harvest a decent oilseed crop.
Perfect, hardly and has plenty of side issues but we have to start trying something different because what we’ve been doing doesn’t work anymore (if it ever really did is up for debate).March 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm #65807
Hi Geoff.. I can see where you are comming from but think about this.. where is it written that we are entitled to a power source that uses up land?. From where I am looking it seems to me the whole infrastructure we have built is non sustainable… Lets grow bio diesel so we can put it in trucks so we can ship farm produce hundreds of miles ???? if they can get it to grow on crap land that is no use for food producion then fine… but it wont. Yes the idea is a solution but only in the short term.. I know horses could never meet all the energy needs but for farming it is totally doable. been done before and I recon could be done again if needed but that wouldnt be a great thing either because of the lack of teamsters… big problems ahead I think….
JohnMarch 13, 2011 at 6:21 am #65803
First, thanks for bringing Liz on board. Two extra credit points for you!:)
I agree that the overall sustainability of our current circumstance is not possible but it is also impossible to imagine the kind of shift in society/government/life that is necessary to get to something “sustainable” happening in a single generation. We’re talking chaos. So my point was that biodiesel may be one tool for helping us transition to that new sustainable place with out the anarchy.
As far as the arable land use goes, our local farmers are looking for a crop that fits in the local rainfall regime (<20"/yr), has some cash value and can be inserted into their current cropping system. They feel it's good for their land compared with current summer fallow practices.
No one said what you have to transport with the fuel. Maybe just little grannies to their doctor’s appointments? Or even use it for heating or what have you.
Remember that there’s currently (maybe a little older data) enough food Calories produced worldwide to provide each person on the planet w/ > 3000 Calories/day. It’s just not available to everyone and increased production wouldn’t likely change that aspect.March 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm #65808
Good point Geoff.. I had no idea we produce 3000+ callories worldwide. Over here we couldnt get any grazing value early on and still get a crop at the end of season.. This forum is great for getting the pulse on others farming set up…
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