By Randolph Norris Shreve; George T Austin

ISBN-10: 0070571473

ISBN-13: 9780070571471

ISBN-10: 0070661677

ISBN-13: 9780070661677

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In the USA, farmers are paid not to farm about 10 per cent of their land, and in the EU, up to 15 per cent of arable farmland can be ‘set-aside’, although the percentage has varied over the last five years. Apart from over 30 Mha of cropland already set-aside in the USA to reduce production or conserve land, another 43 Mha of croplands have high erosion rates and a further 43 Mha have ‘wetness’ problems, which could be eased with a shift to various perennial energy crops. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that a further 60 Mha may be idled over the next 25 years.

In India, for example, these industries account for as much as 50 per cent of the manufacturing sector and provide a large part of national employment, second only to the agricultural sector. Biomass energy use, particularly in its traditional forms, is difficult to quantify, thus creating additional problems. There are two major reasons for this: 1 biomass is generally a lowly regarded fuel and thus rarely finds its way into official statistics, and when it does it tends to be downgraded. g. fuelwood, charcoal, animal dung, and crop residues, are inaccurately associated with problems of deforestation and desertification.

Another strategy for reducing fertiliser requirements is to select species that are especially efficient in their use of nutrients. There is a wide range of nutrient-use efficiency among plants; in addition, either selecting a nitrogen-fixing species or intercropping the primary crop with a nitrogen-fixing species can make the plantation self-sufficient in nitrogen. In the future it may be feasible to reduce fertiliser requirements through the use of techniques being developed for matching nutrient applications more precisely to the plant’s time-varying need for nutrients.

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Shreve's Chemical process industries by Randolph Norris Shreve; George T Austin

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