Date of Award

8-2015

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Program Name

Environmental Policy and Management

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Elizabeth D'Andrea

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to identify the link between corn-based ethanol production demand in the United States and the increased propensity for pesticide use within large industrial corn cropping systems. Methodology used in this study incorporates increases in herbicide tolerant corn plantings, increases in overall corn planted acres, and trends in corn ending stocks seen in the United States in response to ethanol demand. A correlation between each variable and ethanol production trends will provide insight into their relationship. Findings in this study show positive correlations between specific variables and ethanol production trends. Increasing reliance upon corn crop to facilitate the production of ethanol will likely cause increasing levels of pesticide applications in the future to cope with market volatility as a result of reduced carryover amounts and increases in monocrop corn acreage. New management strategies will be required to reduce the need for greater pesticide inputs to meet ethanol demands.

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