Impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard on America’s Land & Water

A study on the Impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) on America’s Land and Water Resources by researchers from three universities including UW-Madison, examines the increased demand for corn and soybean production from this mandate to replace fossil fuels with increasing volumes of renewable fuels.

The researchers conclude: 1) The RFS caused 2.8 million new acres of cropland; 2) Considering crop-switching on pre-existing cropland, the RFS caused 6.9 million new acres of corn; 3) By increasing crop-switching to corn, the RFS caused an additional 319,000 metric tons of applied nitrogen fertilizer per year; 4) as well as an additional 3.1 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions per year.