Note: Yet another disaster looming for the beautiful, biodiverse native hardwood, pine and wetland forests of the Southern U.S. While genetically engineered tree (GE tree) company ArborGen argues they will increase the supply of wood per acre of land with their frankentrees, what they neglect to mention is that the massive increase in demand for wood to produce wood-based “biomass” electricity or other wood-based fuels will require the conversion of millions of acres of native forest into biologically sterile industrial timber plantations. If ArborGen gets their way and these plantations contain genetically engineered eucalyptus, poplar and pine trees, ecological chaos will result–from the uncontrollable spread of the GE trees into native forests; from the enormous quantities of toxic agrochemicals these plantations require; from the droughts caused by ArborGen’s water-hogging GE eucalyptus trees and from the firestorms set off by ArborGen’s volatile and highly flammable GE eucalyptus trees.
–The GJEP Team
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————————————————————————————————-ArborGen joins team led by University of Tennessee to advance woody biomass production as part of $15 million USDA NIFA Grant
SUMMERVILLE, S.C., Sep 29, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — ArborGen, a world leader in the development and commercialization of technologies that improve the productivity of trees for wood, fiber and energy, has been named as a core member of the recently formed Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS). Created through a $15 million grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to accelerate the supply of bio-based renewable energy, the IBSS partnership will develop sustainable feedstock production systems for dedicated energy crops, specifically purpose grown trees and switchgrass.
The Center for Renewable Carbon, a program of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, will act as the lead institution for the IBSS, which will include several collaborating institutions throughout the Southeast. Maud Hinchee, Ph.D., chief science officer, and Michael Cunningham, PhD, director of product development, will serve as ArborGen’s representatives to the Southeast IBBS partnership. ArborGen expertise will be critical in meeting one of the IBSS partnership goals of exploring the inherent performance and cost advantages of short-rotation woody crops such as Eucalyptus, Pine and Poplar, matching the economic and environmental performance of each feedstock with a preferred conversion platform.
“ArborGen is excited to play a very active role in advancing the goals of the IBBS partnership funded through the recently awarded USDA grant,” said Hinchee. “Our entire team of scientists, silvicultural and forestry experts work every day to develop new solutions for short-rotation woody feedstocks and biofuels- and bioenergy-related technologies. We will lend our collective expertise toward this effort, which we believe will help meet the Southeast region’s need for biomass and our nation’s growing demand for wood, fiber and energy.”
ArborGen’s focus in the IBSS partnership will be on optimizing wood characteristics for optimal conversion to advanced “drop in” biofuels and on developing sustainable methods for harvesting, transporting and storing purpose grown trees. ArborGen will also work closely with IBSS on ensuring that technology developed at IBSS will benefit rural economies. A key component of the IBSS partnership will be to ensure that information is developed to help land owners, rural communities and the emerging biofuels industry make decisions that promote sustainable development.
ArborGen is revolutionizing productivity in commercial forestry. ArborGen is the largest global supplier of seedling products to the commercial forestry industry, as well as the leading developer of biotech seedlings. Through innovations in both conventional breeding and biotechnology, ArborGen is developing high-value products that significantly improve the productivity of a given acre of land. These products enable ArborGen’s customers to grow trees that yield more wood per acre with greater consistency and quality in a shorter period of time. ArborGen’s work is improving the sustainability of working forests while helping to meet the world’s growing need for wood, fiber and energy. For more information, please visit www.arborgen.com .