Research roundup

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A step toward more sustainable corn
Katy Jonker
The volume of greenhouse gas emissions per grain of corn has decreased over time, as a larger amount of grain is now being produced with the same inputs.

That’s according to the latest research by Professor Claudia Wagner-Riddle from the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. She collected data from Statistics Canada as well as other accessible sources specifically surrounding producing corn in the province. Then she applied the information to computer-modeling software to generate Ontario-specific greenhouse gas emission rates associated with growing corn regionally.

“This research is important because now that we’ve pinpointed that the focus should be on mitigating emissions and generating yield with less inputs, a
win-win situation is created economically and environmentally,” says Wagner-Riddle.

The research suggests that taking into account corn’s lifecycle – including the inputs and conditions associated with growing the crop – would promote a better understanding of how to reduce the carbon footprint of growing corn. 

In the near future, Wagner-Riddle will be submitting a paper on her research for publication in the Canadian Journal of Soil Science.

Also involved in this study are Goretty Dias from the University of Waterloo and Research Associate Susantha Jayasundara.

This research is supported by Grain Farmers of Ontario.


Research Roundup is provided by members of SPARK (Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge) at the University of Guelph’s Office of Research. For more information, contact a SPARK writer at 519-824-4120, ext. 52667.

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