Gold rush corn is a delicious yellow variety with a very soft grain skin and a refreshing sweetness, from Nakate to Wase. The ripening period is 83 to 84 days, and this type has a considerable wase property, and the 2L size is stable and harvested. Since it has good germination and low temperature elongation, it seems that it can be cultivated stably from early cropping such as tunnel cultivation. A sweet corn variety improved by Sakata Seed Corporation. Originally, the breed was improved with the aim of making corn “thin and soft”, but as a result, I heard that the corn became large and very sweet.
Regarding the background of grain corn production, the feed self-sufficiency rate is as low as 26% (FY2017, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), and most of the corn that is the main raw material for compound feed is imported. Since the feed price soared in 2008, it seems that efforts are being made to increase domestic feed. In recent years, efforts to cultivate and use practical offspring corn that uses only the grain portion of feed corn have begun in various parts of the country, and I hear that the western part of the prefecture has been working since FY2015. In the western part of the prefecture, there seem to be two examples of efforts, such as a pig farm in Sakai Town, Sashima District, which is producing and using it in-house, and a poultry farm in Chikusei City, which produces it and uses it in a poultry farm in Shimotsuma City. In Ibaraki Prefecture, it seems that it is providing technical support for cultivation of practical corn, matching support between cultivated farmers and livestock farmers, and support for facility development through subsidized projects. At poultry farms, replacing 30% of wheat with corn instead of conventional feeds centered on wheat and soybeans seems to have led to improvements in nutritional value and egg production rates. However, there are still many issues in terms of cultivation, and we are providing support through cultivation guidance, etc. with the aim of stable production of practical corn for offspring, such as measures against pests and increased yields.
I briefly mentioned the 1st generation bioethanol earlier, but the 2nd generation is the production of bioethanol from inedible, non-edible biomass. Non-edible biomass is mainly lignocellulosic from trees and grass. Even if we cling to the trees in the garden and swallow them, lignocellulosic, which makes up most of them, is completely indigestible. It is an attempt to actively use this non-edible part. In Japan as well, there is a background in which technological development of second-generation bioethanol that does not directly compete with food is being promoted. Since non-edible biomass such as wood and straw is used as a raw material, there is no competition with food. Since cellulose cannot be easily decomposed, the process is complicated, but biochemical processes by fermentation and thermochemical processes by gasification / synthesis are being considered. Furthermore, research and development of 3rd generation bioethanol made from algae etc. is progressing, but it seems that cost reduction is a major issue here. Biobutanol is also attracting attention as a next-generation biofuel. Ethanol has a problem that it has a smaller calorific value than gasoline and cannot obtain high fuel efficiency, but butanol has a calorific value close to that of gasoline, and this problem seems to be almost nonexistent. It does not have hygroscopicity like ethanol, and I heard that it can be mixed with light oil as well as gasoline.