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Re: Farm Planning Thought

Pecans are adapted to Eastern Oklahoma, that's for sure.

That includes the native pecan groves as well as the
variety planted orchards.

Irrigated orchards draw water from local groundwater and ponds,
not the Ogallala aquifer, which is further out.

By the way, if you want to experience the ultimate agroecosystem,
go visit a native pecan grove.   You can stand under the canopy
of mature trees that reach  80 to 120 feet in height, with tree trunks
3 feet in diameter.

Underneath, green grass and clover.

Take a bottle of cold soda, sit on the tail gate of your pickup
truck, and gaze out onto the wonder of the world.

OK, I checked into the biodiesel chart that my co-worker
at ATTRA used to pass out when this question came up.

See Table 1. Oil-Producing Crops, In:

Biodiesel: A Brief Overview

Palms, avocado, pecan, and jojoba are way up there.

Castor bean, which is much more widely adapted,
is just below pecan in oil production.

Rapeseed and sunflower, also widely adapted, are not far behind.

Soybean is way down the list, at 25% oil content of pecan.

You'd be better off raising buffalo gourds than soybeans.

By the way, "From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide
to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel," by Joshua Tickell,
is one of those classic how-to books.  E.g., you can get waste oil
from local restaurants and make biodiesel in a barrel.

Fyi, to really explore sustainable farm energy, see the Sunshine
Farm papers by Marty Bender at The Land Institute in Kansas
They looked into this thoroughly; i.e., how many acres of oil
crops are needed to run biodiesel tractors and so forth, land
allocation in a sustainable crop rotation, whole farm planning in
relation to energy, etc.

Sunshine Farm Research Program
Marty Bender, The Land Institute

Also see the mighty handbook by the USDA's former Chief Botanist,
James Duke, available online at the NewCrops website:

Handbook of Energy Crops
James A. Duke. 1983

Steve Diver


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