FAQ & PDF
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Download PDF Brochure: here
Contains more information on pongamia, including much of what is on this site.
Pongamia FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
Are There Better Alternatives to Pongamia?
Currently Pongamia / Millettia represents the best all round sustainable solution for broadacre renewable energy cropping. Because Pongamia is a legume, it produces its own Nitrogen and requires little to no fertillizer. Fertillizers used with competing crops are generally produced from fossil fuels, which can defeat the purpose of using biofuel.
Jathropa has a lower yield and is illegal to plant in Australia because it is rated as a noxious weed. It also has known carcenogenic effects on humans. It also has a wide flowering window and mechanical harvesting will generally result in significant losses in yield (up to 50%).
Although it is high yielding, it is labour intensive; has high fertilizer costs; requires 2500-6000mm rainfall; generally not grown commercially beyond 7.5 degrees either side of the equator due to wind speed and temperature.
The so called Diesel Tree from South America cannot currently be mechanically harvested and the oil degrades within 1-2 months, making it unuseable as a broadacre solution. Further it is 14 years before first economic harvest, and requires 4000-6000mm of rainfall to achieve good yields.
Are Pongamia Labour Intensive To Harvest?
Pongamia plantations are not labour intensive, requiring one harvest per year and minimal upkeep, especially if interrow cropping or livestock are employed.
Pongamia plantations are environmentally friendly and potentially far more profitable than existing land use programs.
What About Millettia Pinnata?
In short, Millettia Pinnata = Pongamia Pinnata. A common misconception is that Millettia is a higher yielding version of Pongamia, however this actually isn’t true. They are not a different variety, Millettia pinnata is simply the new botanical name for Pongamia pinnata.
It would be wise to get an independent party to verify yields over 100-150kg per tree before investing your money. In the extensive research undertaken over the last 5 years, there has not been an independently verified tree yielding over 150kg to BER’s knowledge, other than some very large, very old trees, which could never be harvested in a plantation setting. This includes researchers working in India, Sri Lanka, and all over Northern Queensland.
It should also be noted, that a yield of 40kg per tree would produce more than economically viable outcomes with a plant population of 300-500 trees per hectare. See “about pongamia” for more.
What about Carbon Sequestration?
Don’t just plant a tree for Carbon, plant for fuel, food and Carbon
Instead of wasting good land for carbon sinks only, Pongamia sequesters carbon and displaces fossil fuel, and creates livestock feed as well.