Switchgrass: not a sex toy, but still attracting a lot of attention

Switchgrass: not a sex toy, but still attracting a lot of attention

Summary: They're talkin' switchgress out there in farm country. From Oklahoma and Iowa to Virginia and North Carolina, there's a definite buzz in the fields.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Government
2

They're talkin' switchgress out there in farm country. From Oklahoma and Iowa to Virginia and North Carolina, there's a definite buzz in the fields. It's not cloming from the apparently endangered honey bees, it's the whole agribusiness system from farmer to tractor seller to fertilizer manufacturer to lobbyist.

With all the potential profit and the more immediate prospect of government susidies, it's no wonder the WashPo has a big piece on swithcgrass. Our peerless leaders inside the Beltway will soon be bandying about stats and arguments in the corn v. switchgrass sweepstakes. The federal lab in Colorado is already working on the best way to process switchgrass and produce ethanol. We hominids have been turning corn into various forms of liquor, uh, alcohol for some millenia now, so we got that process going pretty good. But switchgrass? The American bison simply turned it into beef and methane. The Native Americans burned it in dry seasons but never used it to power much beyond those Spanish horses when they showed up on the prairie. Now we're looking to use switchgrass to keep our SUVs and Indy 500 cars atoolin' along.

Can't wait to work on the ad campaign: "Still burning fossilized ferns? Switch to switchgrass." Or maybe, "Forty million buffalo were right all along. You, too, can cross the plains on the power of switchgrass." Nice grainy images of switchgrass waving in the wind across the rolling sand hills of Nebraska, just at sunrise. Vaughn Williams music. Sumper-imposed image of the US flag. Man, who can beat a fuel that was native to America BEFORE any hominids made it across the land bridge?

Topic: Government

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

2 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Still remain skeptical

    Turning of crop land to produce switchgrass (or corn, milo, soybeans - sugar cane - whatever) to make fuel seems a high energy input for low energy output of production. Conversion plants suck a large amount of energy to make this low output per gallon fuel substitute (as compared to fossil fuel).

    I would be far more interested in the work that uses xx square miles of solar cells that produce electricity directly than funding more "sweetheart" deals for large agri-business.
    Jim888
  • RE: Switchgrass: not a sex toy, but still attracting a lot of attention

    we're getting competition from animals....they wont like it for sure..haahahaha
    <a href="http://www.sextoysreview.net">toysRus</a>
    toysRus