WorldWideScience

Sample records for energy crops compared

  1. Comparing biobased products from oil crops versus sugar crops with regard to non-renewable energy use, GHG emissions and land use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, Harriëtte L.; Meesters, Koen P.H.; Conijn, Sjaak G.; Corré, Wim J.; Patel, Martin K.

    2016-01-01

    Non-renewable energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and land use of two biobased products and biofuel from oil crops is investigated and compared with products from sugar crops. In a bio-based economy chemicals, materials and energy carriers will be produced from biomass. Next to side streams,

  2. Comparative performance of annual and perennial energy cropping systems under different management regimes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehmel, Ute Constanze

    2007-07-18

    management on quality parameters and (iv) environmentally benign crop rotation systems. Differently maturing maize varieties were grown in six different crop rotation systems (continuous maize with and without an undersown grass, maize as a main crop partially preceded by different winter catch crops and followed by winter wheat) and tested at two sites. Additional factors were sowing and/or harvest dates. Maize and cumulative biomass yields of the crop rotation systems were compared. Specific methane yield measurements were carried out to evaluate the energy performance of the tested crops. Quality was assessed either by measurements of the dry matter content or by using the near infrared reflectance spectroscopy for the determination of chemical composition. Results indicate that an environmentally benign crop rotation system requires nearly year-round soil cover to minimize nitrogen leaching. This can be achieved through the cultivation of undersown or catch crops and additional main crops alongside maize, such as winter wheat. Late maturing maize varieties can be cultivated at a site where the maize can build adequate dry matter contents due to a long growth period (late harvest date). The energy generation in terms of methane production was primarily dependent on high biomass yields. It could be further shown that the specific methane yield of maize increased with increasing starch content, digestibility and decreasing fiber content. To conclude, selected site-specific energy crops and crop rotation systems, with suitable crop management, (fertilizer and soil tillage) can produce high quality biomass and the highest net energy return. Lignocellulosic biomass can be optimized for combustion. Wet biomass is an optimal substrate for anaerobic digestion. Profitable energy production is characterized by a high land and energy use efficiency and especially high net energy yields. (orig.)

  3. Energy crops in rotation. A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zegada-Lizarazu, Walter; Monti, Andrea [Department of Agroenvironmental Science and Technology, University of Bologna, Viale G. Fanin, 44 - 40127, Bologna (Italy)

    2011-01-15

    The area under energy crops has increased tenfold over the last 10 years, and there is large consensus that the demand for energy crops will further increase rapidly to cover several millions of hectares in the near future. Information about rotational systems and effects of energy crops should be therefore given top priority. Literature is poor and fragmentary on this topic, especially about rotations in which all crops are exclusively dedicated to energy end uses. Well-planned crop rotations, as compared to continuous monoculture systems, can be expected to reduce the dependence on external inputs through promoting nutrient cycling efficiency, effective use of natural resources, especially water, maintenance of the long-term productivity of the land, control of diseases and pests, and consequently increasing crop yields and sustainability of production systems. The result of all these advantages is widely known as crop sequencing effect, which is due to the additional and positive consequences on soil physical-chemical and biological properties arising from specific crops grown in the same field year after year. In this context, the present review discusses the potential of several rotations with energy crops and their possibilities of being included alongside traditional agriculture systems across different agro-climatic zones within the European Union. Possible rotations dedicated exclusively to the production of biomass for bioenergy are also discussed, as rotations including only energy crops could become common around bio-refineries or power plants. Such rotations, however, show some limitations related to the control of diseases and to the narrow range of available species with high production potential that could be included in a rotation of such characteristics. The information on best-known energy crops such as rapeseed (Brassica napus) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) suggests that conventional crops can benefit from the introduction of energy crops in

  4. Hemp: A more sustainable annual energy crop for climate and energy policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finnan, John; Styles, David

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the fuel-chain greenhouse gas balance and farm economics of hemp grown for bioenergy with two perennial bioenergy crops, Miscanthus and willow, and two more traditional annual bioenergy crops, sugar beet and oil seed rape (OSR). The GHG burden of hemp cultivation is intermediate between perennial and traditional annual energy crops, but net fuel chain GHG abatement potential of 11 t/CO 2 eq./ha/year in the mid yield estimate is comparable to perennial crops, and 140% and 540% greater than for OSR and sugar beet fuel chains, respectively. Gross margins from hemp were considerably lower than for OSR and sugar beet, but exceeded those from Miscanthus when organic fertilizers were used and in the absence of establishment grants for the latter crop. Extrapolated up to the EU scale, replacing 25% of OSR and sugar beet production with hemp production could increase net GHG abatement by up to 21 Mt CO 2 eq./year. Hemp is a considerably more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops. Integrated into food crop rotations, hemp need not compete with food supplies, and could provide an appealing option to develop more sustainable non-transport bioenergy supply chains. - Highlights: ► The GHG burden of hemp is intermediate between perennial and annual energy crops. ► Replacing 25% of OSR/beet with hemp could increase GHG abatement by 21 Mt/CO 2 eq./year. ► Hemp is a more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops

  5. Energy Crop-Based Biogas as Vehicle Fuel—The Impact of Crop Selection on Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pål Börjesson

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The production of biogas from six agricultural crops was analysed regarding energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG performance for vehicle fuel from a field-to-tank perspective, with focus on critical parameters and on calculation methods. The energy efficiency varied from 35% to 44%, expressed as primary energy input per energy unit vehicle gas produced. The GHG reduction varied from 70% to 120%, compared with fossil liquid fuels, when the GHG credit of the digestate produced was included through system expansion according to the calculation methodology in the ISO 14044 standard of life cycle assessment. Ley crop-based biogas systems led to the highest GHG reduction, due to the significant soil carbon accumulation, followed by maize, wheat, hemp, triticale and sugar beet. Critical parameters are biogenic nitrous oxide emissions from crop cultivation, for which specific emission factors for digestate are missing today, and methane leakage from biogas production. The GHG benefits were reduced and the interrelation between the crops changed, when the GHG calculations were instead based on the methodology stated in the EU Renewable Energy Directive, where crop contribution to soil carbon accumulation is disregarded. All systems could still reach a 60% GHG reduction, due to the improved agricultural management when digestate replaces mineral fertilisers.

  6. Manure and energy crops for biogas production. Status and barriers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moeller, H.B.; Nielsen, A.M.; Murto, M.; Christensson, K.; Rintala, J.; Svensson, M.; Seppaelae, M.; Paavola, T.; Angelidaki, I.; Kaparaju, P.L.

    2008-07-01

    This study has evaluated the development of biogas technology in three Nordic countries and analysed the effects of using nine model energy crops as supplement to manure feedstocks in biogas plants. The study compares the global warming impacts and the energy balance for the nine crops used for heat and power production. The energy balances and impacts on greenhouse gases of the studied crops differ between the countries. In Sweden and Denmark, the same crops turned out to be the most promising in terms of energy yield and impact on greenhouse gases. In general, the same crops that score high in terms of energy yield also score high in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases. Based on the examined parameters, it can be concluded that the most promising crops are Jerusalem artichoke, beets, maize, and, in Finland, reed canary grass as well. (au)

  7. EUE (energy use efficiency) of cropping systems for a sustainable agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alluvione, Francesco; Moretti, Barbara; Sacco, Dario; Grignani, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Energy efficiency of agriculture needs improvement to reduce the dependency on non-renewable energy sources. We estimated the energy flows of a wheat-maize-soybean-maize rotation of three different cropping systems: (i) low-input integrated farming (LI), (ii) integrated farming following European Regulations (IFS), and (iii) conventional farming (CONV). Balancing N fertilization with actual crop requirements and adopting minimum tillage proved the most efficient techniques to reduce energy inputs, contributing 64.7% and 11.2% respectively to the total reduction. Large differences among crops in energy efficiency (maize: 2.2 MJ kg -1 grain; wheat: 2.6 MJ kg -1 grain; soybean: 4.1 MJ kg -1 grain) suggest that crop rotation and crop management can be equally important in determining cropping system energy efficiency. Integrated farming techniques improved energy efficiency by reducing energy inputs without affecting energy outputs. Compared with CONV, energy use efficiency increased 31.4% and 32.7% in IFS and LI, respectively, while obtaining similar net energy values. Including SOM evolution in the energy analysis greatly enhanced the energy performance of IFS and, even more dramatically, LI compared to CONV. Improved energy efficiency suggests the adoption of alternative farming systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. However, a thorough evaluation should include net global warming potential assessment. -- Highlights: → We evaluated the energy flows of integrated as alternative to conventional Farming. → Energy flows, soil organic matter evolution included, were analyzed following process analysis. → Energy flows were compared using indicators. → Integrated farming improved energy efficiency without affecting net energy. → Inclusion of soil organic matter in energy analysis accrue environmental evaluation.

  8. Energy from field crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zubr, J.

    1990-04-15

    At the Research Station of Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark, investigation concerning cultivation and exploitation of field crops for production of fuels was carried out during the period 1986-1989. High yielding crops, such as sugar beet - BETA VULGARIS, jerusalem artichoke - HELIANTHUS TUBEROSUS, rhubarb - RHEUM RHAPONTICUM, and comfrey - SYMPHYTUM ASPERUM, were grown experimentally in the field. Different cultivation methods for the crops were used and evaluated. Simultaneously with the field experiment, laboratory investigation was carried out to determine the energy potential of different products and by-products from the crops processes, such as alcoholic and methanogenic fermantation. Production expenses for the crops were determined, and cost of the fuels was estimated. The experimental results show that beet is a superior crop for the climatic conditions of Northern Europe. In the season 1986, yields exceeded 20 t TS/ha in the form of roots and tops, where achieved. A combined exploitation of beet roots and tops via alcoholic and methanogenic fermantation gave a gross energy corresponding to 80 hl OE/ha/yr. Using methanogenic fermentation exclusively, from ensiled beet roots and tops, gross energy yield corresponding to 85 hl IE/ha/yr, was achieved. The cost of energy in the form of alcohol from beet roots was estimated to be 5.17 DKK/1 OE (0.64 ECU/l OE). The cost of energy in the form of methane from ensiled beet tops, was estimated to be 2.68 DKK/l OE (0.33 ECU/l OE). At the present time, methane produced on the basis of ensiled beet roots and tops appears to be competitive with fossil fuels. Irrespective of the cost, however, the possibility of producing clean energy from field crops remains of interest for the future. (author) 27 refs.

  9. Biogas production from energy crops and crop residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtomaeki, A.

    2006-07-01

    The feasibility of utilising energy crops and crop residues in methane production through anaerobic digestion in boreal conditions was evaluated in this thesis. Potential boreal energy crops and crop residues were screened for their suitability for methane production, and the effects of harvest time and storage on the methane potential of crops was evaluated. Codigestion of energy crops and crop residues with cow manure, as well as digestion of energy crops alone in batch leach bed reactors with and without a second stage upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB) or methanogenic filter (MF) were evaluated. The methane potentials of crops, as determined in laboratory methane potential assays, varied from 0.17 to 0.49 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added} (volatile solids added) and from 25 to 260 m3 CH4 t-1 ww (tons of wet weight). Jerusalem artichoke, timothy-clover and reed canary grass gave the highest methane potentials of 2 900-5 400 m3 CH{sub 4} ha-1, corresponding to a gross energy potential of 28-53 MWh ha-1 and 40 000-60 000 km ha-1 in passenger car transport. The methane potentials per ww increased with most crops as the crops matured. Ensiling without additives resulted in minor losses (0-13%) in the methane potential of sugar beet tops but more substantial losses (17-39%) in the methane potential of grass, while ensiling with additives was shown to have potential in improving the methane potentials of these substrates by up to 19-22%. In semi-continuously fed laboratory continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) co-digestion of manure and crops was shown feasible with feedstock VS containing up to 40% of crops. The highest specific methane yields of 0.268, 0.229 and 0.213 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added} in co-digestion of cow manure with grass, sugar beet tops and straw, respectively, were obtained with 30% of crop in the feedstock, corresponding to 85-105% of the methane potential in the substrates as determined by batch assays. Including 30% of crop in

  10. Environmental considerations in energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ranney, J.W.; Mann, L.K.

    1994-01-01

    This paper is a preliminary attempt to provide information on the probable environmental effects of energy crop production relative to other potential uses of the land. While dedicated energy crop production is anticipated to occur primarily on land currently in agricultural production, some pastureland and forestland with a high potential for conversion to agricultural production may be utilized. Experimental results suggest that chemical use on energy crops will be lower than on most row crops and that land producing energy crops should experience less erosion than land producing row crops. Long-term site productivity should not be a major issue if macro-and micro-fertilizers are added as needed and nutrient-conserving production techniques are used. (Author)

  11. Energy-, environmental and economic evaluation of energy crops utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-06-01

    This preliminary project is prepared in order to clarify the economic possibilities and rentability of energy crops. Examples of energy crop resource potential, environmental and economic consequences are calculated on the basis of existing data. Utilization of annual and perennial crops is evaluated with regard to the usual following of agricultural areas, and to the traditional power generation in a coal-fueled plant. Two technological options are discussed: one based on energy crop fuels supplementing the conventional coal fuel, and the other based on a separate biomass-fueled boiler, connected to the conventional coal-fueled unit. Implementation of the main project,following the preliminary one will permit to estimate the future prospects and strategies of energy crop utilization as a profitable energy resource. (EG)

  12. Comparing annual and perennial crops for bioenergy production - influence on nitrate leaching and energy balance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pugesgaard, Siri; Schelde, Kirsten; Ugilt Larsen, Søren

    2015-01-01

    Production of energy crops is promoted as a means to mitigate global warming by decreasing dependency on fossil energy. However, agricultural production of bioenergy can have various environmental effects depending on the crop and production system. In a field trial initiated in 2008, nitrate...... concentration in soil water was measured below winter wheat, grass-clover and willow during three growing seasons. Crop water balances were modelled to estimate the amount of nitrate leached per hectare. In addition, dry matter yields and nitrogen (N) yields were measured, and N balances and energy balances...... was also measured in an old willow crop established in 1996 from which N leaching ranged from 6 to 27 kg ha−1 yr−1. Dry matter yields ranged between 5.9 and 14.8 Mg yr−1 with lowest yield in the newly established willow and the highest yield harvested in grass-clover. Grass-clover gave the highest net...

  13. Biotechnology Towards Energy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaritopoulou, Theoni; Roka, Loukia; Alexopoulou, Efi; Christou, Myrsini; Rigas, Stamatis; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Milioni, Dimitra

    2016-03-01

    New crops are gradually establishing along with cultivation systems to reduce reliance on depleting fossil fuel reserves and sustain better adaptation to climate change. These biological assets could be efficiently exploited as bioenergy feedstocks. Bioenergy crops are versatile renewable sources with the potential to alternatively contribute on a daily basis towards the coverage of modern society's energy demands. Biotechnology may facilitate the breeding of elite energy crop genotypes, better suited for bio-processing and subsequent use that will improve efficiency, further reduce costs, and enhance the environmental benefits of biofuels. Innovative molecular techniques may improve a broad range of important features including biomass yield, product quality and resistance to biotic factors like pests or microbial diseases or environmental cues such as drought, salinity, freezing injury or heat shock. The current review intends to assess the capacity of biotechnological applications to develop a beneficial bioenergy pipeline extending from feedstock development to sustainable biofuel production and provide examples of the current state of the art on future energy crops.

  14. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, Henrik B.

    2008-01-01

    Perennial crops need far less energy to plant, require less fertilizer and pesticides, and show a lower negative environmental impact compared with annual crops like for example corn. This makes the cultivation of perennial crops as energy crops more sustainable than the use of annual crops....... The conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...... oxidation to the perennial crops, however, the specific methane yield increases significantly and the ratio of energy output to input and of costs to benefit for the whole chain of biomass supply and conversion into biogas becomes higher than for corn. This will make the use of perennial crops as energy...

  15. The Energy Effectiveness Of Crops In Crop Rotation Under Different Soil Tillage Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Strašil Zdeněk

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper identifies and compares the energy balance of winter wheat, spring barley and white mustard – all grown in crop rotation under different tillage conditions. The field trial included the conventional tillage (CT method, minimum tillage (MT and a system with no tillage (NT. The energy inputs included both the direct and indirect energy component. Energy outputs are evaluated as gross calorific value (gross heating value of phytomass dry matter of the primary product and the total harvested production. The energy effectiveness (energy output: energy input was selected for evaluation. The greatest energy effectiveness for the primary product was established as 6.35 for barley, 6.04 for wheat and 3.68 for mustard; in the case of total production, it was 9.82 for barley, 10.08 for wheat and 9.72 for mustard. When comparing the different tillage conditions, the greatest energy effectiveness was calculated for the evaluated crops under the MT operation and represented the primary product of wheat at 6.49, barley at 6.69 and mustard at 3.92. The smallest energy effectiveness for the primary product was found in wheat 5.77 and barley 6.10 under the CT option; it was 3.55 for mustard under the option of NT. Throughout the entire cropping pattern, the greatest energy effectiveness was established under the minimum tillage option – 5.70 for the primary product and 10.47 for the total production. On the other hand, the smallest values were calculated under CT – 5.22 for the primary product and 9.71 for total production.

  16. Comparative energy analysis of agricultural crops used for producing ethanol and CO2 emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, M.A. dos

    1997-01-01

    A variety of biomass sources can be used for producing ethanol. Among these are sugar cane (Brazil), corn (USA), sweet sorghum (USA and Europe), sugar beets (Europe) and wheat (USA and Europe). The production of fuel alcohol worldwide has been analyzed from various perspectives: productivity, the competition between food and energy crops, the social and economic aspects and, more recently, the environmental dimension. Another relevant study is aimed at calculating the energy costs of the production and use of alcohol from sugar cane as compared to other primary sources for this fuel. The present analysis employs the methodology of energy balance, highlighting local conditions that influence how biomass is transformed into ethanol: technology, agricultural productivity, environmental conditions and an estimate of the carbon dioxide emissions from these different processes. (author)

  17. The environmental benefits of cellulosic energy crops at a landscape scale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graham, R.L.; Liu, W.; English, B.C.

    1995-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to present a broad overview of the potential environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops--particularly the cellulosic energy crops current under development. For this discussion, the term energy crop refers to a crop grown primarily to create feedstock for either making biofuels such as ethanol or burning in a heat or electricity generation facility. Cellulosic energy crops are designed to be used in cellulose-based ethanol conversion processes (as opposed to starch or sugar-based ethanol conversion processes). As more cellulose can be produced per hectare of land than can sugar or starch, the cellulose-based ethanol conversion process is a more efficient sue of land for ethanol production. Assessing the environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops is complex because the environmental impact of using biomass for energy must be considered in the context of alternative energy options while the environmental impact of producing biomass from energy crops must be considered in the context of alternative land-uses. Using biomass-derived energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase them; growing biomass energy crops can enhance soil fertility or degrade it. Without knowing the context of the biomass energy, one can say little about its specific environmental impacts. The primary focus of this paper is an evaluation of the environmental impacts of growing cellulosic energy crops especially at the landscape or regional scale. However, to set the stage for this discussion, the authors begin by comparing the environmental advantages and disadvantages of biomass-derived energy relative to other energy alternatives such as coal, hydropower, nuclear power, oil/gasoline, natural gas and photovoltaics

  18. Biogas production from energy crops and agriculture residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, G.

    2010-12-15

    In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according to their suitability for biogas production. Moreover, pretreatment of these biomasses by using wet explosion method was studied and the effect of the wet explosion process was evaluated based on the increase of (a) sugar release and (b) methane potential when comparing the pretreated biomass and raw biomass. Ensiling of perennial crops was tested as a storage method and pretreatment method for enhancement of the biodegradability of the crops. The efficiency of the silage process was evaluated based on (a) the amount of biomass loss during storage and (b) the effect of the silage on methane potential. Co-digestion of raw and wet explosion pretreated energy crops and agriculture residues with swine manure at various volatile solids (VS) ratio between crop and manure was carried out by batch tests and continuous experiments. The efficiency of the co-digestion experiment was evaluated based on (a) the methane potential in term of ml CH4 produced per g of VS-added and (b) the amount of methane produced per m3 of reactor volume. (Author)

  19. Will energy crop yields meet expectations?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Searle, Stephanie Y.; Malins, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Expectations are high for energy crops. Government policies in the United States and Europe are increasingly supporting biofuel and heat and power from cellulose, and biomass is touted as a partial solution to energy security and greenhouse gas mitigation. Here, we review the literature for yields of 5 major potential energy crops: Miscanthus spp., Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Populus spp. (poplar), Salix spp. (willow), and Eucalyptus spp. Very high yields have been achieved for each of these types of energy crops, up to 40 t ha −1  y −1 in small, intensively managed trials. But yields are significantly lower in semi-commercial scale trials, due to biomass losses with drying, harvesting inefficiency under real world conditions, and edge effects in small plots. To avoid competition with food, energy crops should be grown on non-agricultural land, which also lowers yields. While there is potential for yield improvement for each of these crops through further research and breeding programs, for several reasons the rate of yield increase is likely to be slower than historically has been achieved for cereals; these include relatively low investment, long breeding periods, low yield response of perennial grasses to fertilizer, and inapplicability of manipulating the harvest index. Miscanthus × giganteus faces particular challenges as it is a sterile hybrid. Moderate and realistic expectations for the current and future performance of energy crops are vital to understanding the likely cost and the potential of large-scale production. - Highlights: • This review covers Miscanthus, switchgrass, poplar, willow, and Eucalyptus. • High yields of energy crops are typically from small experimental plots. • Field scale yields are lower due to real world harvesting losses and edge effects. • The potential for yield improvement of energy crops is relatively limited. • Expectations must be realistic for successful policies and commercial production

  20. Impact of perennial energy crops income variability on the crop selection of risk averse farmers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, Peter; Moran, Dominic

    2013-01-01

    The UK Government policy is for the area of perennial energy crops in the UK to expand significantly. Farmers need to choose these crops in preference to conventional rotations for this to be achievable. This paper looks at the potential level and variability of perennial energy crop incomes and the relation to incomes from conventional arable crops. Assuming energy crop prices are correlated to oil prices the results suggests that incomes from them are not well correlated to conventional arable crop incomes. A farm scale mathematical programming model is then used to attempt to understand the affect on risk averse farmers crop selection. The inclusion of risk reduces the energy crop price required for the selection of these crops. However yields towards the highest of those predicted in the UK are still required to make them an optimal choice, suggesting only a small area of energy crops within the UK would be expected to be chosen to be grown. This must be regarded as a tentative conclusion, primarily due to high sensitivity found to crop yields, resulting in the proposal for further work to apply the model using spatially disaggregated data. - Highlights: ► Energy crop and conventional crop incomes suggested as uncorrelated. ► Diversification effect of energy crops investigated for a risk averse farmer. ► Energy crops indicated as optimal selection only on highest yielding UK sites. ► Large establishment grant rates to substantially alter crop selections.

  1. Economic assessment and comparison of acacia energy crop with annual traditional crops in Southern Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gasol, Carles M.; Rieradevall, Joan; Gabarrell, Xavier; Brun, Filippo; Mosso, Angela

    2010-01-01

    In several policy documents bioenergy is recognized as an important renewable energy source in Italy. The increase in energy prices represents an opportunity for lignocellulosic energy crops such as acacia and poplar. However, for Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) to be adopted by farmers, these crops must be perceived to be at least as profitable as crops that normally compete with these plantations for land use. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the economic feasibility of acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) as an energy crop in a low input production regime in Italy and, in particular, to consider its competitiveness with wheat. Our results show that neither SRC and SRF techniques using assumed production costs (EUR3820 and EUR5285 ha -1 yr -1 ) nor biomass productions are able to obtain a positive profit (-EUR184 and -EUR172 ha -1 yr -1 ) that can convince farmers to invest in biomass plantations on their land. The results demonstrate that wheat is a more economically secure option than SRC or SRF. The viability of local biomass production in Italy and Southern Europe depends on the active support of the governments; without them, biomass is not economically competitive for the farmers when compared to crops such as wheat. (author)

  2. Biomass for energy from field crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zubr, J.

    1988-01-01

    On the basis of a field experiment, selected crops were evaluated for feasibility in producing biomass applicable as raw material for fuels. Both the main products and byproducts of the crops were investigated in the laboratory for qualitative characteristics and were subjected to methanogenic fermentation under mesophilic conditions. The biogas energy potential and gross energy potential were determined. Under the climatic conditions of Northern Europe, sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) was found to be a superior energy crop. White cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. Capitata), rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) and comfrey (Symphytum asperum) can be considered as potential crops for biomass. The agrotechnical and the economic aspects of the biomass production are being subjected to further investigation.

  3. Microeconomic aspects of energy crops cultivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartolelli, V.; Mutinati, G.; Pisani, F.

    1992-01-01

    The topic of energy crops, namely of those crops designed to produce biomass to transform into ethanol, has been explored, in Italy and abroad, in all its technical and agronomical aspects. The microeconomic aspect, including the evaluation of convenience for the farmer in adopting such crops, is, on the contrary, less well researched. RENAGRI has developed a research methodology able to give information about the level of convenience of two energy crops (Sweet Sorghum and Topinambour) and has applied it to different Italian agricultural situations, in order to verify the existence of conditions favourable to the cultivation of the two crops, or to indicate the necessity of eventual subvention. (author)

  4. Switchgrass a valuable biomass crop for energy

    CERN Document Server

    2012-01-01

    The demand of renewable energies is growing steadily both from policy and from industry which seeks environmentally friendly feed stocks. The recent policies enacted by the EU, USA and other industrialized countries foresee an increased interest in the cultivation of energy crops; there is clear evidence that switchgrass is one of the most promising biomass crop for energy production and bio-based economy and compounds. Switchgrass: A Valuable Biomass Crop for Energy provides a comprehensive guide to  switchgrass in terms of agricultural practices, potential use and markets, and environmental and social benefits. Considering this potential energy source from its biology, breed and crop physiology to its growth and management to the economical, social and environmental impacts, Switchgrass: A Valuable Biomass Crop for Energy brings together chapters from a range of experts in the field, including a foreword from Kenneth P. Vogel, to collect and present the environmental benefits and characteristics of this a ...

  5. Energy embodiment in Brazilian agriculture: an overview of 23 crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Paulo Soto Veiga

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The amount of energy required to produce a commodity or to supply a service varies from one production system to another and consequently giving rise to differing levels of environmental efficiency. Moreover, since energy prices have been continuously increasing over time, this energy amount may be a factor that has economic worth. Biomass production has a variety of end-products such as food, energy, and fiber; thus, taking into account the similarity in end-product of different crops (e.g.: sunflower, peanuts, or soybean for oil it is possible to evaluate which crops require less energy per functional unit, such as starch, oil, and protein. This information can be used in decision-making about policies for food safety or bioenergy. In this study, 23 crops were evaluated allowing for a comparison in terms of energy embodied per functional unit. Crops were grouped as follows: starch, oil, horticultural, perennial and fiber, to provide for a deeper analysis of alternatives for the groups, and subsidize further studies comparing conventional and alternative production systems such as organic or genetically modified organisms, in terms of energy. The best energy balance observed was whole sugarcane (juice, bagasse and straw with a surplus of 268 GJ ha−1 yr−1; palm shows the highest energy return on investment with a ratio of approximately 30:1. For carbohydrates and protein production, cassava and soybean, respectively, emerged as the crops offering the greatest energy savings in the production of these functional foods.

  6. Climate protection and energy crops. Potential for greenhouse gas emission reduction through crop rotation and crop planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eckner, Jens; Peter, Christiane; Vetter, Armin

    2015-01-01

    The EVA project compares nationwide energy crops and crop rotations on site-specific productivity. In addition to agronomic suitability for cultivation economic and environmental benefits and consequences are analyzed and evaluated. As part of sustainability assessment of the tested cultivation options LCAs are established. The model MiLA developed in the project uses empirical test data and site parameters to prepare the inventory balances. At selected locations different cultivation and fertilization regimes are examined comparatively. In the comparison of individual crops and crop rotation combinations cultivation of W.Triticale-GPS at the cereals favor location Dornburg causes the lowest productrelated GHG-emissions. Due to the efficient implementation of nitrogen and the substrate properties of maize is the cultivation despite high area-related emissions and N-expenses at a low level of emissions. Because of the intensity the two culture systems offer lower emissions savings potentials with high area efficiency. Extensification with perennial alfalfagrass at low nitrogen effort and adequate yield performance show low product-related emissions. Closing the nutrient cycles through a recirculation of digestates instead of using mineral fertilization has a climate-friendly effect. Adapted intensifies of processing or reduced tillage decrease diesel consumption and their related emissions.

  7. Nitrate leaching and pesticide use in energy crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe

    2006-01-01

    Nitrate leaching measured below willow and miscanthus is very low from the established crops. Pesticide use in energy crops is low as well.......Nitrate leaching measured below willow and miscanthus is very low from the established crops. Pesticide use in energy crops is low as well....

  8. Screening boreal energy crops and crop residues for methane biofuel production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtomaeki, A.; Rintala, J.A. [Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyvaeskylae, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 Jyvaeskylae (Finland); Viinikainen, T.A. [Department of Chemistry, University of Jyvaeskylae, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 Jyvaeskylae (Finland)

    2008-06-15

    The purpose of the study was to screen potential boreal energy crops and crop residues for their suitability in methane production and to investigate the effect of harvest time on the methane production potential of different crops. The specific methane yields of crops, determined in 100-200 d methane potential assays, varied from 0.17 to 0.49 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4} kg{sup -1} VS{sub added} (volatile solids added) and from 25 to 260 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4} t{sub ww}{sup -1} (tonnes of wet weight). Jerusalem artichoke, timothy-clover grass and reed canary grass gave the highest potential methane yields of 2900-5400 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4} ha{sup -1}, corresponding to a gross energy yield of 28-53 MWh ha{sup -1} and ca. 40,000-60,000 km ha{sup -1} in passenger car transport. The effect of harvest time on specific methane yields per VS of crops varied a lot, whereas the specific methane yields per t{sub ww} increased with most crops as the crops matured. (author)

  9. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weih, Martin; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike; Fransson, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  10. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weih, Martin, E-mail: martin.weih@slu.se; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike [Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); Fransson, Petra [Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2014-05-22

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  11. Energy production on farms. Sustainability of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Zeijts, H.

    1995-01-01

    In this article the results of a study on sustainability of energy crops are discussed. Contribution to the reduction of the greenhouse effect and other environmental effects were investigated for the Netherlands. The study assumed that energy crops are grown on set-aside land or grain land. Generating electricity and/or heat from hemp, reed, miscanthus, poplar and willow show the best prospects. These crops are sustainable and may in the future be economically feasible. Ethanol from winter wheat shows the most favourable environmental effects, but is not economically efficient. Liquid fuels from oil seed rape and sugar beet are not very sustainable. 2 tabs., 4 refs

  12. Energy Crops and the Common Agricultural Policy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCormick, Kes; Nilsson, Helen; Tomescu, Mihail [Lund Univ. (Sweden). International Inst. for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

    2006-07-15

    The Biomass Action Plan (BAP) for Europe outlines how to achieve the targets for bioenergy and energy crops defined by the European Commission and member states. However, it is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that shapes the utilisation of agricultural land. This paper therefore reviews the supportive measures for energy crops in recent CAP reforms and investigates the effects on farmers in 'real-life' case studies from Sweden, Italy and Austria. This paper explores if the recent CAP reforms are sufficient to motivate farmers to cultivate energy crops; identifies the barriers and drivers for energy crops from the perspective of farmers; and suggests how to enhance supportive measures in the CAP to overcome barriers and complement the BAP.

  13. European energy crops overview. Country report for Denmark

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Statens Planteavlsforsoeg, Tjele Denmark; Statens Jordbrugstekniske Forsoeg, Horsens Denmark

    1996-06-01

    Biomass constitutes a significant contribution to the Danish energy production and is a major tool in increasing the contribution from renewables. So far the focus has been on utilizing existing biomass residues like straw and forest residues and not energy crops. The government has agreed to carry out a demonstration and development programme on energy crops in order to analyse aspects of economy, energy, environment, nature conservancy and comerciality. Several plant species have been investigated for their potential as energy crops and overview information in presented on buchina, sunflower, knotweed, Jerusalem artichoke, false flax, reed Canary grass and corn cockle. More detailed descriptions are given on willow, Miscanthus, energy grain (grain whole crop) and rape which have been most intensively investigated. Rape has been the energy crop grown on the largest scale (40-50,000 ha) but the oil has not been used for energy purposes in Denmark. A research programme on the development of a low input production system for non-food rape is currently conducted. The perennial crops willow and Miscanthus are grown with low input of fertilizer and pesticides and are considered environmentally friendly. Willow-SRC is used as fuel at district heating plants, both commercially and for feasibility studies. Full-scale tests have been carried out on Miscanthus combustion in farm heating plant constructed for straw firing, and on co-combustion with coal at power stations. Grain whole crop (energy grain) has been combusted at a district heating plant, a CHP-plant and a power station. Co-combustion with coal was carried out at a CFB-boiler. Concerning ethanol based on energy crops, only a few activities are in progress. (EG) 89 refs.

  14. The economics of producing energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shapouri, H.; Duffield, J.

    1993-01-01

    The US agricultural sector has an immense supply of natural resources which can be used to product energy. Production of energy from these resources could stimulate economic growth, improve environmental quality, and enhance energy security. However, producing feedstocks and converting biomass to energy require large amounts of capital, equipment, labor, and processing facilities. This paper looks at the costs and benefits of producing energy crops for fuel conversion. A review of studies and crop data show that the cost of growing and converting various feedstocks with current technology is greater than the cost of producing conventional fuels. Conventional motor fuels have a price advantage over biofuels, but market prices don't always reflect the cost of negative externalities imposed on society. Government decisions to invest in alternative energy sources should be based on research that includes the environmental costs and benefits of energy production. The future of biofuels will depend on the continuation of government research and incentive programs. As new technologies advance, the costs of processing energy crops and residues will fall, making biofuels more competitive in energy markets

  15. The Danish energy crop research and development project - main conclusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gylling, Morten

    2003-01-01

    Production of energy crops in Denmark is more or less non-existent in Denmark at the time being. However, the need for biomass on the other side of year 2005 exceeds the existing biomass resources and a substantial amount of energy crops will be necessary in order to fulfil the goals in Energy 21. The targeted share of the use of renewable energy sources by year 2030 is approximately 30%. Energy crops are seen as the most important new resource in order to create a balanced input mix of renewable in the energy system. The energy crops are mainly seen as fuel in small and medium sized CHP plants and in the big power plants. The Danish energy crop project consists of three main parts: a demonstration part, a research and development part, and an overall assessment part. Based on the results from the project the following overall conclusions can be made: Seen from a strictly market and production economic point of view energy crops will not be competitive in a foreseeable future, neither as a production for farmers nor as a fuel at the utility companies; The costs per GJ of energy crops are still higher than a GJ of straw; The cost difference between annual and perennial energy crops are slightly in favour of perennials, however the conditions on the individual farms should govern the choice between annual and perennial energy crops; Energy crops must be seen as part of an overall environmental scheme covering both agriculture and the energy sector; Given the right production scheme energy crops can be grown on environmental sensitive areas and on most ground water protection areas; Adding the potential sustainability benefits like reduced nutrient leakage and reduced CO 2 emissions energy crops seem to be a sensible and sustainable solution; Due to different handling, storage and fuel characteristics an all year delivery scheme of energy crops should include a mix of different energy crops to keep overall cost down. (BA)

  16. Energy balance of chosen crops and their potential to saturate energy consumption in Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarína Hrčková

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present work was to assess and compare energy inputs and outputs of various crop managements in 2011–2012. Two main crops on arable land and three permanent grasslands were investigated. Silage maize (Zea mays L. and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. were grown on lowland, whilst two semi-natural grasslands and grassland infested by tufted hair-grass (Deschampsia caespitose (L. P. Beauv were located in mountainous regions of Slovakia. In these crops and grasslands the dry matter yield was measured and subsequently the supplementary energy, energy gain and unifying energy value – tonne of oil equivalent (TOE – were calculated. Silage maize with 233.37 GJ*ha-1 has provided the highest energy gain. In the group of grasslands, grassland infested by tufted hair-grass has offered the highest energy gain (59.77 GJ*ha-1. And this grassland had the lowest requirement on the supplementary energy (3.66 GJ*ha-1, contrary to silage maize with highest one (12.37 GJ*ha-1. The total energy potential of the crop biomasses was confronted with energy consumption in Slovakia. Winter wheat has the biggest energy potential, but it could cover only 19.6% and 11.3% total consumption of electricity or natural gas, respectively. Large area of permanent grasslands and their spatial location make them an important energy reservoir for bioenergy production. But, it is not possible to replace all consumed fossil fuels by bioenergy from these tested renewable energy sources.

  17. Energy potential of agricultural crops in Kosovo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahiti, Naser; Sfishta, Avni; Gramatikov, Plamen

    2015-01-01

    Primary energy mix in Kosovo with 98 % consisting of lignite and only 2 % of water is far from portfolio of primary energy sources which could contribute to a sustainable and environmental friendly energy supply of the country. In order to improve the situation, government is supporting activities in favor of upgrading of electricity production capacities based on Renewable Energy Sources. Corresponding action plans and feed in tariffs are already in place. However, prior to any investment, one needs specific results on available potential. Current study provides results of the analysis of Kosovo potential for energy production by using of agricultural crops. Study is based on national statistics on available agricultural crops in Kosovo and provides results on biomass potential of crops, corresponding energy potential and an assessment of financial cost of energy produced.

  18. N2O Emission from energy crop fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joergensen, B.J.; Nyholm Joergensen, R.

    1996-03-01

    The interest in N 2 O emissions from soils with energy crops is a results of its properties as a greenhouse gas, since the global warming potential of N 2 O per unit mass is about 320 times greater than CO 2 . The contribution of N 2 O from the soil to the atmosphere may increase due to agricultural management. Consequently, large N 2 O emissions can lower the reduction of the greenhouse effect achieved by the substitution of fossil fuels by energy crops. For this reason it is crucial to find the crops for combustion with the lowest potential for emission of N 2 O from the soil per produced energy unit. The aims of this study were to assess the annual N 2 O flux from a Miscanthus 'Giganteus' (M. 'Giganteus') and winter rye (Secale cereale) field, and to investigate the factors affecting the N 2 O emission. To obtain these aims a method was developed for measurements in tall crops. The thesis contains a literature review on the N 2 O emission from the soils, a section with development of the technique for N 2 O flux measurements, and an experimental section. Finally, the thesis contains a section where the results are discussed in relation to the use of energy crops. In all the filed studies, the N 2 O emission was measured by using a new developed closed-chamber technique. The main advantages of the chamber method were the ability to contain growing plants up to a height of 3 m, and the relatively large area (2X2m) covered by each other. Soils with annual and perennial crops can be expected to emit less then 3 kg N 2 O ha -1 yr -1 . This amount corresponds to 960 kg CO 2 ha -1 yr -1 compared to a total CO 2 reduction of 10 to 19 tons CO 2 ha -1 yr -1 using the energy crops as substitution for fossil fuels. An efficient way to reduce the N 2 O emission is to exclude use of fertiliser but this also reduces the dry matter yield and consequently also the CO 2 reduction per unit dry matter. Following the guidelines for good agricultural practice concerning the

  19. Socio-economic impacts of energy crops for heat generation in Northern Greece

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panoutsou, Calliope

    2007-01-01

    Bioenergy is considered to be an attractive option mainly due to driving forces of an environmental nature (e.g. climate change and sustainability issues). This is particularly the case for energy crops, which show higher productivity per land unit than their conventional counterparts. In addition, by comparison, such crops are more homogeneous in terms of their physical and chemical characteristics than residual resources that are often described as the biomass resource of the future. However, despite the long-term research and the considerable efforts to promote them, implementation is still rather slow across Europe. In this paper, two perennial energy crops, cardoon and giant reed, are evaluated in Rodopi, northern Greece, as alternative land use, through comparative financial appraisal with the main conventional crops. Based on the output of this analysis, the breakeven for the two energy crops is defined and an economic and socio-economic evaluation of a biomass district heating system is conducted. Results prove that energy crops can be attractive alternatives if they are properly integrated into existing agricultural activities and complement the current cropping options. As such, they provide raw material for local heat applications, thus resulting in increased income for the region and an increase in the number of jobs. (author)

  20. Assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Biewinga, E.E.; Bijl, G. van der

    1998-01-01

    The production and use of biomass for energy has both positive and negative impacts on the environment. The environmental impacts of energy crops should be clarified before political choices concerning energy are made. An important aid to policy-making would be a systematic methodology to assess the environmental sustainability of energy crops. So far, most studies on the environmental aspects of energy crops deal mainly with the energy production of the crops and the possible consequences for CO 2 mitigation. The Dutch Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CLM) has developed a systematic methodology to assess the ecological and socio-economic sustainability of biomass crops. The method is best described as a multicriteria analysis of process chains and is very much related to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Characteristics of our methodology are the use of: definition of functional units; analysis of the entire lifecycle; definition of yield levels and corresponding agricultural practices; analysis of both ecological and economic criteria; definition of reference systems; definition of procedures for normalisation and weighting. CLM has applied the method to assess the sustainability of ten potentially interesting energy crops in four European regions. The results are used to outline the perspectives for large scale production of biomass crops with regard to the medium and long term land availability in Europe. For the crops considered, net energy budget ranges from 85 GJ net avoided energy per ha for rape seed for fuel to 248 GJ net avoided fossil energy per ha for silage maize for electricity from gasification. The methodology of the tool and its results were discussed at the concerted action ''Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'' (AIR3-94-2455), organised by CLM in 1996. Major conclusions of the research: multicriteria analyhsis of process lifecycles is at present the best available option to assess the ecological

  1. The Giant Reed as an energy crop: assessing the energy requirements within its supply chain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodias, Efthymis; Busato, P.; Bochtis, Dionysis

    2013-01-01

    Biomass energy is one form of renewable energy sources that are in the core of interesting for many researchers. There many different biomass sources that can be exploited for energy production, such as crop residues, waste materials, forestry residues and energy crops. Regarding energy crops......, there are many different types of crops significantly varies in terms of energy potential yields, production and provision methods, etc. To this end, a thoroughly assessment of the energy inputs and outputs of each potential energy crop is necessary. In this paper, the Giant Reed is evaluated energetically...... as a potential energy crop. The assessment regards a 10 year period. The considered energy elements include direct inputs (e.g. fuel consumption) as well as indirect inputs (e.g. embodied energy of materials and machinery). According to the results, the balance between the estimated total energy input...

  2. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Guangtao

    and wet explosion pretreated energy crops and agriculture residues with swine manure at various volatile solids (VS) ratio between crop and manure was carried out by batch tests and continuous experiments. The efficiency of the co-digestion experiment was evaluated based on (a) the methane potential......In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according...... of perennial crops was tested as a storage method and pretreatment method for enhancement of the biodegradability of the crops. The efficiency of the silage process was evaluated based on (a) the amount of biomass loss during storage and (b) the effect of the silage on methane potential. Co-digestion of raw...

  3. The potential for energy production from crop residues in Zimbabwe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jingura, R.M.; Matengaifa, R. [School of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Chinhoyi University of Technology, P. Bag 7724, Chinhoyi (Zimbabwe)

    2008-12-15

    There is increasing interest in Zimbabwe in the use of renewable energy sources as a means of meeting the country's energy requirements. Biomass provides 47% of the gross energy consumption in Zimbabwe. Energy can be derived from various forms of biomass using various available conversion technologies. Crop residues constitute a large part of the biomass available from the country's agriculture-based economy. The potential for energy production of crop residues is examined using data such as estimates of the quantities of the residues and their energy content. The major crops considered are maize, sugarcane, cotton, soyabeans, groundnuts, wheat, sorghum, fruits and forestry plantations. Quantities of residues are estimated from crop yields by using conversion coefficients for the various crops. Long-term crop yields data from 1970 to 1999 were used. Total annual residue yields for crops, fruits and forestry plantations are 7.805 Mt, 378 kt and 3.05 Mt, respectively. The crops, fruits and forestry residues have energy potential of 81.5, 4.9 and 44.3 PJ per year, respectively. This represents about 44% of the gross energy consumption in Zimbabwe. The need to balance use of crop residues for both energy purposes and other purposes such as animal feeding and soil fertility improvement is also highlighted. (author)

  4. Energy crops as a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olesen, J.E.

    2002-01-01

    The current Danish energy plan stipulates a production of 5 PI from energy crops in 2010. This may be attained through growing of either annual (e.g., cereal) or perennial energy crops (e.g., willow or Miscanthus). Existing Danish data and the IPCC methodology was used to calculate nitrous oxide emissions from and carbon sequestration in soils cropped with an annual energy crop (triticale) or a perennial energy crop (Miscanthus). The calculations for Miscanthus were performed separately for harvest in November or April, since the harvest time affects both yields and emissions. The estimates for Miscanthus were based on a 20-year duration of the cultivation period. The energy use for growing the crops was included in the energy budgets, as was the reduction in CO 2 emission that will result from substitution of fossil fuel (natural gas). The calculations were performed for both a coarse sandy soil and a loamy sand. The results were compared with current (reference) practice for growing cereals. There were only minor differences in production data and emissions between the two soil types. The area required to produce 5 PI was smallest for Miscanthus harvested in November (c. 25,000 ha), and about equal for triticale and Miscanthus harvested in April (c. 32,000 ha). The reduction in nitrous oxide emissions compared with cereal production was smallest for triticale (20 kt CO 2 equivalents /eq] yr -1 ) and about equal for Miscanthus at the two harvest times (30-36 kt CO 2 eq yr -1 ). Growing Miscanthus resulted in a carbon sequestration, with the highest rates (100 kt CO 2 eq yr -1 ) for Miscanthus harvested in April. The energy use for production of triticale was slightly lower than for normal cereal growing, whereas growing Miscanthus for harvest in April resulted in a smaller energy use which corresponded to an emission reduction of 20 kt CO 2 yr -1 . The substitution of fossil fuel corresponded to 285 kt CO 2 yr -1 . Summing all items, growing 5 PI worth of

  5. Herbaceous energy crops: a general survey and a microeconomic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caserta, G.

    1995-01-01

    Liquid fuels (bioethanol and biooil) derived from herbaceous crops are considered beneficial for the environment and human health especially if they are used as fuels for motor vehicles. The choice of the most suited crop to be cultivated for liquid biofuel production depends on many factors; the most important being the economic convenience for farmers to cultivate the new energy crop in place of the traditional ones. In order to analyse the conditions which favour the cultivation and selling of specific energy crops, a simple methodology is proposed, based on the calculation of the ''threshold price'' of the energy crop products. The ''threshold price'' is the minimum price at which the primary products of the energy crop, i.e., roots, tubers, seeds, etc., must be sold in order to obtain a gross margin equal to that usually obtained from the traditional crop which is replaced by the energy crop. As a case-study, this methodology has been applied to twelve Italian provinces where the cultivation of six energy crops, both in productive lands and set-aside lands, is examined. The crops considered are sugar beet, sweet sorghum and topinambour, useful for bioethanol production; and rapeseed, sunflower and soya, which are usually employed for the production of biooil. (Author)

  6. Cloud decision model for selecting sustainable energy crop based on linguistic intuitionistic information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Hong-Gang; Wang, Jian-Qiang

    2017-11-01

    In recent years, sustainable energy crop has become an important energy development strategy topic in many countries. Selecting the most sustainable energy crop is a significant problem that must be addressed during any biofuel production process. The focus of this study is the development of an innovative multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) method to handle sustainable energy crop selection problems. Given that various uncertain data are encountered in the evaluation of sustainable energy crops, linguistic intuitionistic fuzzy numbers (LIFNs) are introduced to present the information necessary to the evaluation process. Processing qualitative concepts requires the effective support of reliable tools; then, a cloud model can be used to deal with linguistic intuitionistic information. First, LIFNs are converted and a novel concept of linguistic intuitionistic cloud (LIC) is proposed. The operations, score function and similarity measurement of the LICs are defined. Subsequently, the linguistic intuitionistic cloud density-prioritised weighted Heronian mean operator is developed, which served as the basis for the construction of an applicable MCDM model for sustainable energy crop selection. Finally, an illustrative example is provided to demonstrate the proposed method, and its feasibility and validity are further verified by comparing it with other existing methods.

  7. Sustainable Biofuel Project: Emergy Analysis of South Florida Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amponsah, Nana Yaw [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Izursa, Jose-Luis [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States); Hanlon, Edward A. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States). Soil and Water Sciences Dept.; Capece, John C. [Intelligentsia International, Inc., LaBelle, FL (United States)

    2012-11-15

    This study evaluates the sustainability of various farming systems, namely (1) sugarcane on organic and mineral soils and (2) energycane and sweet sorghum on mineral soils. The primary objective of the study is to compare the relative sustainability matrices of these energy crops and their respective farming systems. These matrices should guide decision and policy makers to determine the overall sustainability of an intended or proposed bioethanol project related to any of these studied crops. Several different methods of energy analysis have been proposed to assess the feasibility or sustainability of projects exploiting natural resources (such as (Life Cycle Analysis, Energy Analysis, Exergy Analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis, Ecological Footprint, etc.). This study primarily focused on the concept of Emergy Analysis, a quantitative analytical technique for determining the values of nonmonied and monied resources, services and commodities in common units of the solar energy it took to make them. With this Emergy Analysis study, the Hendry County Sustainable Biofuels Center intends to provide useful perspective for different stakeholder groups to (1) assess and compare the sustainability levels of above named crops cultivation on mineral soils and organic soils for ethanol production and (2) identify processes within the cultivation that could be targeted for improvements. The results provide as much insight into the assumptions inherent in the investigated approaches as they do into the farming systems in this study.

  8. Emission of CO2 from energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turhollow, A.F.

    1991-01-01

    The production of cellulosic energy crops (e.g., short rotation woody crops and herbaceous crops) make a net contribution of CO 2 to the atmosphere to the extent that fossil-fuel based inputs are used in their production. The CO 2 released from the use of the biomass is merely CO 2 that has recently been removed from the atmosphere by the plant growth process. Fossil inputs used in the production of energy corps include energy invested in fertilizers and pesticides, and petroleum fuels used for machinery operation such as site preparation, weed control, harvesting, and hauling. Fossil inputs used come from petroleum, natural gas, and electricity derived from fossil sources. No fossil inputs for the capital used to produce fertilizers, pesticides, or machinery is calculated in this analysis. In this paper calculations are made for the short rotation woody crop hybrid poplar (Populus spp.), the annual herbaceous crop sorghum (Sorghum biocolor [L.] Moench), and the perennial herbaceous crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). For comparison purposes, emissions of CO 2 from corn (Zea mays L.) are calculated

  9. Biogas production from high-yielding energy crops in boreal conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seppala, M.

    2013-11-01

    In this thesis, the methane production potential of traditional and novel energy crops was evaluated in boreal conditions. The highest methane yield per hectare was achieved with maize (4 000-9 200 m{sup 3}CH{sub 4} ha{sup -1} a{sup -1}) and the second highest with brown knapweed (2 700-6 100 m{sup 3}CH{sub 4} ha{sup -1} a{sup -1}). Recently, the most feasible energy crop, grass, produced 1 200-3 600 m{sup 3}CH{sub 4} ha{sup -1} a{sup -1}. The specific methane yields of traditional and novel energy crops varied from 170-500 l kg{sup -1} volatile solid (VS). The highest specific methane yields were obtained with maize, while the novel energy crops were at a lower range. The specific methane yields decreased in the later harvest time with maize and brown knapweed, and the specific methane yield of the grasses decreased from the 1st to 2nd harvests. Maize and brown knapweed produced the highest total solid (TS) yields per hectare 13-23 tTS ha{sup -1}, which were high when compared with the TS yields of grasses (6-13 tTS ha{sup -1}). The feasibility of maize and brown knapweed in co-digestion with liquid cow manure, in continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTR), was evaluated. According to the CSTR runs, maize and brown knapweed are suitable feeds and have stable processes, producing the highest methane yields (organic loading rate 2 kgVS m{sup -3}d{sup -1}), with maize at 259 l kgVS{sup -1} and brown knapweed at 254 l kgVS{sup -1}. The energy balance (input/output) of the cultivation of the grasses, maize and brown knapweed was calculated in boreal conditions, and it was better when the digestate was used as a fertilizer (1.8-4.8 %) than using chemical fertilizers (3.7-16.2 %), whose production is the most energy demanding process in cultivation. In conclusion, the methane production of maize, grasses and novel energy crops can produce high methane yields and are suitable feeds for anaerobic digestion. The cultivation managements of maize and novel energy crops for

  10. Water-food-energy nexus index: analysis of water-energy-food nexus of crop's production system applying the indicators approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Gafy, Inas

    2017-10-01

    Analysis the water-food-energy nexus is the first step to assess the decision maker in developing and evaluating national strategies that take into account the nexus. The main objective of the current research is providing a method for the decision makers to analysis the water-food-energy nexus of the crop production system at the national level and carrying out a quantitative assessment of it. Through the proposed method, indicators considering the water and energy consumption, mass productivity, and economic productivity were suggested. Based on these indicators a water-food-energy nexus index (WFENI) was performed. The study showed that the calculated WFENI of the Egyptian summer crops have scores that range from 0.21 to 0.79. Comparing to onion (the highest scoring WFENI,i.e., the best score), rice has the lowest WFENI among the summer food crops. Analysis of the water-food-energy nexus of forty-two Egyptian crops in year 2010 was caried out (energy consumed for irrigation represent 7.4% of the total energy footprint). WFENI can be applied to developed strategies for the optimal cropping pattern that minimizing the water and energy consumption and maximizing their productivity. It can be applied as a holistic tool to evaluate the progress in the water and agricultural national strategies. Moreover, WFENI could be applied yearly to evaluate the performance of the water-food-energy nexus managmant.

  11. Sorghum - An alternative energy crop for marginal lands and reclamation sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukas, Stefan; Theiß, Markus; Jäkel, Kerstin

    2017-04-01

    The production of biogas and the associated cultivation of energy crops are still of great importance. Considering increasing restrictions for the cultivation of standard biogas crop maize regarding an environmentally friendly production of biomass, a wider range of energy crops is needed. The cultivation of sorghum can contribute to this. As maize, sorghum is a C4-plant and offers a high biomass yield potential. Originated in the semi-arid tropics, sorghum is well adapted to warm and dry climate and particularly noted for its drought tolerance compared to maize. It also makes few demands on soil quality and shows a good capability of nutrient acquisition. Therefore, particularly on marginal areas and reclamation sites with low soil nutrient and water content sorghum can contribute to secure crop yield and income of farmers. The applied research project aims at and reflects on the establishment of sorghum as a profitable and ecological friendly cropping alternative to maize, especially in the face of probable climate change with increasing risks for agriculture. For this purpose, site differentiated growing and cultivar trials with a standardized planting design as well as several practical on-farm field experiments were conducted. The agronomical and economic results will lead to scientifically based procedures and standards for agricultural practice with respect to cultivation methods (drilling, pest-management, fertilization), cropping sequence and technique, cropping period or position in crop rotation. Even by now there is a promising feedback from the agricultural practice linked with an increasing demand for information. Moreover, the specific cropping area is increasing continuously. Therefore, the leading signs for the establishment of sorghum as profitable alternative to maize biogas production are positive. Sorghum cultures perform best as main crops in the warm D locations in the middle and East German dry areas. Here, the contribution margin

  12. N{sub 2}O Emission from energy crop fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joergensen, B.J. [The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural Univ., Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, Section of Soil, Water and Plant Nutrition (Denmark); Nyholm Joergensen, R. [Research Centre Foulum, The Danish Inst. of Plant and Soil Science, Dept. of Soil Science (Denmark)

    1996-03-01

    The interest in N{sub 2}O emissions from soils with energy crops is a results of its properties as a greenhouse gas, since the global warming potential of N{sub 2}O per unit mass is about 320 times greater than CO{sub 2}. The contribution of N{sub 2}O from the soil to the atmosphere may increase due to agricultural management. Consequently, large N{sub 2}O emissions can lower the reduction of the greenhouse effect achieved by the substitution of fossil fuels by energy crops. For this reason it is crucial to find the crops for combustion with the lowest potential for emission of N{sub 2}O from the soil per produced energy unit. The aims of this study were to assess the annual N{sub 2}O flux from a Miscanthus 'Giganteus' (M. 'Giganteus') and winter rye (Secale cereale) field, and to investigate the factors affecting the N{sub 2}O emission. To obtain these aims a method was developed for measurements in tall crops. The thesis contains a literature review on the N{sub 2}O emission from the soils, a section with development of the technique for N{sub 2}O flux measurements, and an experimental section. Finally, the thesis contains a section where the results are discussed in relation to the use of energy crops. In all the filed studies, the N{sub 2}O emission was measured by using a new developed closed-chamber technique. The main advantages of the chamber method were the ability to contain growing plants up to a height of 3 m, and the relatively large area (2X2m) covered by each other. Soils with annual and perennial crops can be expected to emit less then 3 kg N{sub 2}O ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}. This amount corresponds to 960 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} compared to a total CO{sub 2} reduction of 10 to 19 tons CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} using the energy crops as substitution for fossil fuels. An efficient way to reduce the N{sub 2}O emission is to exclude use of fertiliser but this also reduces the dry matter yield and consequently also the

  13. N{sub 2}O Emission from energy crop fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joergensen, B.J. [The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural Univ., Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, Section of Soil, Water and Plant Nutrition (Denmark); Nyholm Joergensen, R. [Research Centre Foulum, The Danish Inst. of Plant and Soil Science, Dept. of Soil Science (Denmark)

    1996-03-01

    The interest in N{sub 2}O emissions from soils with energy crops is a results of its properties as a greenhouse gas, since the global warming potential of N{sub 2}O per unit mass is about 320 times greater than CO{sub 2}. The contribution of N{sub 2}O from the soil to the atmosphere may increase due to agricultural management. Consequently, large N{sub 2}O emissions can lower the reduction of the greenhouse effect achieved by the substitution of fossil fuels by energy crops. For this reason it is crucial to find the crops for combustion with the lowest potential for emission of N{sub 2}O from the soil per produced energy unit. The aims of this study were to assess the annual N{sub 2}O flux from a Miscanthus `Giganteus` (M. `Giganteus`) and winter rye (Secale cereale) field, and to investigate the factors affecting the N{sub 2}O emission. To obtain these aims a method was developed for measurements in tall crops. The thesis contains a literature review on the N{sub 2}O emission from the soils, a section with development of the technique for N{sub 2}O flux measurements, and an experimental section. Finally, the thesis contains a section where the results are discussed in relation to the use of energy crops. In all the filed studies, the N{sub 2}O emission was measured by using a new developed closed-chamber technique. The main advantages of the chamber method were the ability to contain growing plants up to a height of 3 m, and the relatively large area (2X2m) covered by each other. Soils with annual and perennial crops can be expected to emit less then 3 kg N{sub 2}O ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}. This amount corresponds to 960 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} compared to a total CO{sub 2} reduction of 10 to 19 tons CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} using the energy crops as substituion for fossil fuels. An efficient way to reduce the N{sub 2}O emission is to exclude use of fertiliser but this also reduces the dry matter yield and consequently also the CO{sub 2} reduction

  14. An investigation into the energy use in relation to yield of traditional crops in central Himalaya, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chandra, Abhishek; Saradhi, P. Pardha; Rao, K.S.; Saxena, K.G.; Maikhuri, R.K.

    2011-01-01

    Agrobiodiversity and agroecosystem management have changed in central Himalaya due to increasing emphasis on market economy and the motive 'maximization of profit'. Such changes have benefited local people in economic terms, but at the same time increased their vulnerability to environmental and economic risks. The present study addressed the issue of how the ecological functions that are provided by agrobiodiversity translate into tangible benefits for the society. Important characteristics of agrodiversity management are the use of bullocks for draught power, human energy as labour, crop residues as animal feed and animal waste mixed with forest litter as organic input to restore soil fertility levels. The present analysis of resource input-output energy currency in traditional crop production indicated that inputs into different crop systems were significantly higher during kharif season compared to rabi season both under rainfed and irrigated conditions. The maximum input for crop during rabi season (second crop season) was about 31% of that of kharif season (first crop season after fallow) under rainfed conditions. Under irrigated conditions the rabi season input was about 63% of kharif season input. Under rainfed conditions, paddy sole cropping required maximum inputs (231.31 GJ/ha) as compared to mustard sole cropping (11.79 GJ/ha). The present investigation revealed that the total energy inputs and outputs are higher for irrigated agriculture as compared to rainfed system, the difference in inputs is about 5 fold and outputs is about 2 fold. The output-input ratio showed that irrigated systems have higher values as compared to rainfed systems. -- Highlights: → Agriculture continues to be biggest employment provider in the region. → Ecological functions that are provided by agrobiodiversity translate into tangible benefits for the society. → Analysis of resource input-output energy currency in traditional crop production. → Improvements in crop

  15. Comparison of energy and yield parameters in maize crop

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Memon, S.Q.; Mirjat, M.S.; Amjad, N.

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine direct and indirect input energy in maize production and to investigate the efficiency of energy consumption in maize crop. Result showed that emergence percent, plant height, number of grains per cob and grain yield were the highest in deep tillage as compared to conventional and zero tillage. Total energy input and output were the highest in deep tillage with NPK at the rate 150-75-75kg/ha. The net energy gain was found the highest in deep tillage followed by conventional tillage and the lowest net energy gain in zero tillage. (author)

  16. Pesticide runoff from energy crops: A threat to aquatic invertebrates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunzel, Katja; Schäfer, Ralf B; Thrän, Daniela; Kattwinkel, Mira

    2015-12-15

    The European Union aims to reach a 10% share of biofuels in the transport sector by 2020. The major burden is most likely to fall on already established annual energy crops such as rapeseed and cereals for the production of biodiesel and bioethanol, respectively. Annual energy crops are typically cultivated in intensive agricultural production systems, which require the application of pesticides. Agricultural pesticides can have adverse effects on aquatic invertebrates in adjacent streams. We assessed the relative ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates associated with the chemical pest management from six energy crops (maize, potato, sugar beet, winter barley, winter rapeseed, and winter wheat) as well as from mixed cultivation scenarios. The pesticide exposure related to energy crops and cultivation scenarios was estimated as surface runoff for 253 small stream sites in Central Germany using a GIS-based runoff potential model. The ecological risk for aquatic invertebrates, an important organism group for the functioning of stream ecosystems, was assessed using acute toxicity data (48-h LC50 values) of the crustacean Daphnia magna. We calculated the Ecological Risk from potential Pesticide Runoff (ERPR) for all three main groups of pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides). Our findings suggest that the crops potato, sugar beet, and rapeseed pose a higher ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates than maize, barley, and wheat. As maize had by far the lowest ERPR values, from the perspective of pesticide pollution, its cultivation as substrate for the production of the gaseous biofuel biomethane may be preferable compared to the production of, for example, biodiesel from rapeseed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Energy and emergy analysis of mixed crop-livestock farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuczuk, Anna; Pospolita, Janusz; Wacław, Stefan

    2017-10-01

    This paper contains substance and energy balances of mixed crop-livestock farming. The analysis involves the period between 2012 and 2015. The structure of the presentation in the paper includes: crops and their structure, details of the use of plants with a beneficial effect on soil and stocking density per 1ha of agricultural land. Cumulative energy intensity of agricultural animal and plant production was determined, which is coupled the discussion of the energy input in the production of a grain unit obtained from plant and animal production. This data was compared with the data from the literature containing examples derived from intensive and organic production systems. The environmental impact of a farm was performed on the basis of emergy analysis. Emergy fluxes were determined on the basis of renewable and non-renewable sources. As a consequence, several performance indicators were established: Emergy Yield Ratio EYR, Environmental Loading Ratio ELR and ratio of emergy from renewable sources R! . Their values were compared with the parameters characterizing other production patterns followed in agricultural production. As a consequence, conclusions were derived, in particular the ones concerning environmental sustainability of production systems in the analyzed farm.

  18. Assessment of energy return on energy investment (EROEI of oil bearing crops for renewable fuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Restuccia

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available As reported in literature the production of biodiesel should lead to a lower energy consumption than those obtainable with its use. So, to justify its consumption, a sustainable and “low input” production should be carried out. In order to assess the sustainability of Linum usitatissimum, Camelina sativa and Brassica carinata cultivation for biodiesel production in terms of energy used compared to that obtained, the index EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested has been used. At this aim, an experimental field was realised in the south-eastern Sicilian land. During the autumn-winter crop cycle, no irrigation was carried out and some suitable agricultural practices have been carried out taking into account the peculiarity of each type of used seeds. The total energy consumed for the cultivation of oil bearing crops from sowing to the production of biodiesel represents the Input of the process. In particular, this concerned the energy embodied in machinery and tools utilized, in seed, chemical fertilizer and herbicide but also the energy embodied in diesel fuels and lubricant oils. In addition, the energy consumption relating to machines and reagents required for the processes of extraction and transesterification of the vegetable oil into biodiesel have been calculated for each crops. The energy obtainable from biodiesel production, taking into account the energy used for seed pressing and for vegetable oil transesterification into biodiesel, represents the Output of the process. The ratio Output/Input gets the EROEI index which in the case of Camelina sativa and Linum usatissimum is greater than one. These results show that the cultivation of these crops for biofuels production is convenient in terms of energy return on energy investment. The EROEI index for Brassica carinata is lower than one. This could means that some factors, concerning mechanisation and climatic

  19. Energy crops for biogas plants. Bavaria; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Bayern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aigner, A.; Biertuempel, A.; Conrad, M. (and others)

    2012-08-15

    For agriculturists in Bavaria (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  20. Agricultural Residues and Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-06-01

    There are many opportunities to leverage agricultural resources on existing lands without interfering with production of food, feed, fiber, or forest products. In the recently developed advanced biomass feedstock commercialization vision, estimates of potentially available biomass supply from agriculture are built upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Long-Term Forecast, ensuring that existing product demands are met before biomass crops are planted. Dedicated biomass energy crops and agricultural crop residues are abundant, diverse, and widely distributed across the United States. These potential biomass supplies can play an important role in a national biofuels commercialization strategy.

  1. Energy performance and efficiency of two sugar crops for the biofuel supply chain. Perspectives for sustainable field management in southern Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garofalo, Pasquale; D'Andrea, Laura; Vonella, A. Vittorio; Rinaldi, Michele; Palumbo, A. Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Improvement of the energy balance and efficiency for reduced input of cropping systems is one of the main goals for the cultivation of energy crops. In this field study, two sugar crops for bioethanol production were cultivated under different soil tillage management (conventional; no tillage) and mineral nitrogen application (0, 75, 150 kg N ha"−"1): sweet sorghum and sugar beet. The energy performance and efficiency along the bioethanol supply chain were analysed and compared. Both of these crops showed good growth adaptation to the different soil and nitrogen management, and thus the energy return, resource and energy efficiencies were significantly improved in the low-input system. Sweet sorghum provided better responses in terms of water and nitrogen use efficiency for biomass accumulation, as well as its energy yield and net gain, compared to sugar beet, whereas sugar beet showed higher energy efficiency than sorghum. According to these data, both of these crops can be cultivated in a Mediterranean environment with low energy input, which guarantees good crop and energy performances for biofuel strategy planning. - Highlights: • Two sugar crops for the bioethanol supply chain were evaluated. • Energy performances and efficiencies were assessed under different energy input. • Sugar yield resulted not compromised by the different crop management. • The energy gain was improved with low energy input at field level. • Sweet sorghum gave the highest energy yield, sugar beet the energy efficiency.

  2. Energy and economic analysis of traditional versus introduced crops cultivation in the mountains of the Indian Himalayas: A case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nautiyal, Sunil; Kaechele, H. [Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Socioeconomics, Eberswalder Str. 84, 15374 Muencheberg (Germany); Rao, K.S. [Centre for Inter-disciplinary Studies of Mountain and Hill Environment, Academic Research Center, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007 (India); Maikhuri, R.K. [G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Garhwal Unit, P.O. Box 92, Srinagar (Garhwal) 246174 (India); Saxena, K.G. [School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067 (India)

    2007-12-15

    This study analyzed the energy and economics associated with cultivation of traditional and introduced crops in the mountains of the Central Himalaya, India. The production cost in terms of energy for introduced crops such as tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) cultivation was 90,358-320,516 MJ ha{sup -1} as compared to between 19,814 and 42,380 MJ ha{sup -1} for traditional crops within Himalayan agroecosystems. For the introduced crops, high energy and monetary input was associated with human labor, forest resources, chemical fertilizer and pesticides. However, energy threshold/projection for farmyard manure in traditional crop cultivation was 80-90% of the total energy cost, thus traditional crop cultivation was more efficient in energy and economics. During the study, the farm productivity of introduced crops cultivation declined with increasing years of cultivation. Consequently, the energy output from the system has been declining at the rate of -y20,598 to y20,748 MJ ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} for tomato and y12,072 to y15,056 MJ ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} for bell pepper under irrigated and rain-fed land use in the mountains, respectively. The comparative analysis on this paradigm shift indicates that more research is needed to support sustainable crop cultivation in the fragile Himalayan environment. (author)

  3. Benefits of supplementing an industrial waste anaerobic digester with energy crops for increased biogas production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nges, Ivo Achu; Escobar, Federico; Fu Xinmei; Björnsson, Lovisa

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► This study demonstrates the feasibility of co-digestion food industrial waste with energy crops. ► Laboratory batch co-digestion led to improved methane yield and carbon to nitrogen ratio as compared to mono-digestion of industrial waste. ► Co-digestion was also seen as a means of degrading energy crops with nutrients addition as crops are poor in nutrients. ► Batch co-digestion methane yields were used to predict co-digestion methane yield in full scale operation. ► It was concluded that co-digestion led an over all economically viable process and ensured a constant supply of feedstock. - Abstract: Currently, there is increasing competition for waste as feedstock for the growing number of biogas plants. This has led to fluctuation in feedstock supply and biogas plants being operated below maximum capacity. The feasibility of supplementing a protein/lipid-rich industrial waste (pig manure, slaughterhouse waste, food processing and poultry waste) mesophilic anaerobic digester with carbohydrate-rich energy crops (hemp, maize and triticale) was therefore studied in laboratory scale batch and continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR) with a view to scale-up to a commercial biogas process. Co-digesting industrial waste and crops led to significant improvement in methane yield per ton of feedstock and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as compared to digestion of the industrial waste alone. Biogas production from crops in combination with industrial waste also avoids the need for micronutrients normally required in crop digestion. The batch co-digestion methane yields were used to predict co-digestion methane yield in full scale operation. This was done based on the ratio of methane yields observed for laboratory batch and CSTR experiments compared to full scale CSTR digestion of industrial waste. The economy of crop-based biogas production is limited under Swedish conditions; therefore, adding crops to existing industrial waste digestion could be a viable

  4. Straw and energy crops- analysis of economy, energy and environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parsby, M.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of the biomass agreement of 14 June 1993 was to increase the use of biomass fuels in the Danish power plants to 1.2 million tons straw and 200 000 wood chips. Contribution from straw combustion should reach 25 PJ in year 2000. However biomass cultivation can endanger the governmental policy of pesticide and nitrogen reduction in agriculture. In the worst harvest years straw quantity can be reduced to 70 % of the normal level, while in good years there would occur a 3-4 fold excess of straw. Supply depends in a decisive degree on the offered price as the indirect cost can vary much (wet straw, delayed sawing, lost fertilizer value etc.). Potential for energy crops can be based on ca 300 000 ha present fallow agricultural areas. Cost is higher than that for straw, the most probable plants are elephant grass, willow, rape, sugar beets, winter cereals. Cost is lower for perennial plants, but at least 10-12 years are necessary for such crops to become profitable. Generally the biofuel crops are more expensive than crops for immediate combustion. Expenses for energy crops will decrease with time per ton dry matter, but ground rent for soils previously fallow has to be taken into account. A reduced nitrogen fertilization will reduce the economic profits quite essentially due to smaller harvests. Pesticide consumption will not have to grow as straw and elephant grass do not require any larger quantities (unless very large areas of one crop are cultivated).(EG) 92 refs

  5. Energy and Water Use Related to the Cultivation of Energy Crops: a Case Study in the Tuscany Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Dalla Marta

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of agrobiomasses, as a source of energy, to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was confirmed by several studies. Biomass from agriculture represents one of the larger and more diverse sources to exploit and in particular ethanol and diesel have the potential to be a sustainable replacement for fossil fuels, mainly for transport purposes. However, the cultivation of energy crops dedicated to the production of biofuels presents some potential problems, e.g., competitiveness with food crops, water needs, use of fertilizers, etc., and the economic, energy, and environmental convenience of such activity depends on accurate evaluations about the global efficiency of the production system. In this study, the processes related to the cultivation of energy crops were analyzed from an energy and water cost perspective. The crops studied, maize (Zea mais and sunflower (Helianthus annuus, were identified for their different water requirements and cultivation management, which in turns induces different energy costs. A 50-year climatic series of meteorological data from 19 weather stations scattered in the Tuscany region was used to feed the crop model CropSyst for the simulation of crop production, water requirement, and cultivation techniques. Obtained results were analyzed to define the real costs of energy crop cultivation, depending on energy and water balances. In the energy crop cultivation, the only positive energy balance was obtained with the more efficient system of irrigation whereas all the other cases provided negative balances. Concerning water, the results demonstrated that more than 1.000 liters of water are required for producing 1 liter of bioethanol. As a consequence, the cultivation of energy crops in the reserved areas of the region will almost double the actual water requirement of the agricultural sector in Tuscany.

  6. Biogas crops grown in energy crop rotations: Linking chemical composition and methane production characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Christiane; Idler, Christine; Heiermann, Monika

    2016-04-01

    Methane production characteristics and chemical composition of 405 silages from 43 different crop species were examined using uniform laboratory methods, with the aim to characterise a wide range of crop feedstocks from energy crop rotations and to identify main parameters that influence biomass quality for biogas production. Methane formation was analysed from chopped and over 90 days ensiled crop biomass in batch anaerobic digestion tests without further pre-treatment. Lignin content of crop biomass was found to be the most significant explanatory variable for specific methane yields while the methane content and methane production rates were mainly affected by the content of nitrogen-free extracts and neutral detergent fibre, respectively. The accumulation of butyric acid and alcohols during the ensiling process had significant impact on specific methane yields and methane contents of crop silages. It is proposed that products of silage fermentation should be considered when evaluating crop silages for biogas production. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Energy crops - where are they?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coombs, Jim [CPL Scientific Ltd., Newbury (United Kingdom)

    1999-07-01

    The author examines briefly the factors controlling the growth of energy crops, particularly the relationship between dry matter yield and fuel costs and conversion efficiency and electricity price. The EU target is for 135 Mtoe from biomass by 2010 and consideration is given on how this can be met.

  8. Energy crops on landfills: functional, environmental, and costs analysis of different landfill configurations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivato, Alberto; Garbo, Francesco; Moretto, Marco; Lavagnolo, Maria Cristina

    2018-02-09

    The cultivation of energy crops on landfills represents an important challenge for the near future, as the possibility to use devalued sites for energy production is very attractive. In this study, four scenarios have been assessed and compared with respect to a reference case defined for northern Italy. The scenarios were defined taking into consideration current energy crops issues. In particular, the first three scenarios were based on energy maximisation, phytotreatment ability, and environmental impact, respectively. The fourth scenario was a combination of these characteristics emphasised by the previous scenarios. A multi-criteria analysis, based on economic, energetic, and environmental aspects, was performed. From the analysis, the best scenario resulted to be the fourth, with its ability to pursue several objectives simultaneously and obtain the best score relatively to both environmental and energetic criteria. On the contrary, the economic criterion emerges as weak, as all the considered scenarios showed some limits from this point of view. Important indications for future designs can be derived. The decrease of leachate production due to the presence of energy crops on the top cover, which enhances evapotranspiration, represents a favourable but critical aspect in the definition of the results.

  9. Cost evaluation of energy crops at farm gate in different EU countries and related agricultural issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calliope, P.; Dalianis, C.

    1996-01-01

    Interest on energy crops varies greatly among EU regions. Certain climatic conditions prevailing in the areas, determine the coice of the energy crop which is going to be used as raw material for energy production. Furthermore, energy markets, farm structure and set aside regulations as well as national policy play a critical role to biomass exploitation for energy purposes. A common methodology was developed (Moore, 1996) for comparing costs of different options for ''biomass-to-energy systems'' across six EU countries (figure 1). This methodology was developed in the framework of an AIR Concerted Action financed by DGXII of EU and entitled ''Development of a Standard Methodology for Integrating Non-Food Crops in Rural Areas with Niche Energy Markets''. Cost estimations were done form the first stage of raw material production till the final energy product (kWh of heat and electricity or lt of liquid biofuel. In this paper, only the raw material production cost estimation phase will be presented. (Author)

  10. Quantifying biomass production in crops grown for energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M J; Christian, D; Wilkins, C

    1997-12-31

    One estimate suggests that continued CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform may lead to as much as 2 million hectares of land set aside from arable production by the year 2020 in the UK alone, with 20 million hectares in the EU in total. Set-aside currently occupies more than 500,000 hectares in the UK. Set-aside land is providing more opportunities for non-food crops, for example fuel crops, which provide biomass for energy. Whilst any crop species will produce biomass which can be burnt to produce energy, arable crops were not developed with this in mind but rather a specific harvestable commodity, e.g. grain, and therefore the total harvestable commodity is seldom maximised. The characteristics of an ideal fuel crop have been identified as: dry harvested material for efficient combustion; perennial growth to minimise establishment costs and lengthen the growing season; good disease resistance; efficient conversion of solar radiation to biomass energy; efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser (where required) and water; and yield close to the theoretical maximum. Miscanthus, a genus of Oriental and African C4 perennial grasses, has been identified as possessing the above characteristics. There may be other species, which, if not yielding quite as much biomass, have other characteristics of merit. This has led to the need to identify inherently productive species which are adapted to the UK, and to validate the productivity of species which have already been 'discovered'. (author)

  11. Quantifying biomass production in crops grown for energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M.J.; Christian, D.; Wilkins, C.

    1996-12-31

    One estimate suggests that continued CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform may lead to as much as 2 million hectares of land set aside from arable production by the year 2020 in the UK alone, with 20 million hectares in the EU in total. Set-aside currently occupies more than 500,000 hectares in the UK. Set-aside land is providing more opportunities for non-food crops, for example fuel crops, which provide biomass for energy. Whilst any crop species will produce biomass which can be burnt to produce energy, arable crops were not developed with this in mind but rather a specific harvestable commodity, e.g. grain, and therefore the total harvestable commodity is seldom maximised. The characteristics of an ideal fuel crop have been identified as: dry harvested material for efficient combustion; perennial growth to minimise establishment costs and lengthen the growing season; good disease resistance; efficient conversion of solar radiation to biomass energy; efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser (where required) and water; and yield close to the theoretical maximum. Miscanthus, a genus of Oriental and African C4 perennial grasses, has been identified as possessing the above characteristics. There may be other species, which, if not yielding quite as much biomass, have other characteristics of merit. This has led to the need to identify inherently productive species which are adapted to the UK, and to validate the productivity of species which have already been 'discovered'. (author)

  12. Increased occurrence of pesticide residues on crops grown in protected environments compared to crops grown in open field conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Gina; Halsall, Crispin J; Ukpebor, Justina; Paul, Nigel D; Ridall, Gareth; Wargent, Jason J

    2015-01-01

    Crops grown under plastic-clad structures or in greenhouses may be prone to an increased frequency of pesticide residue detections and higher concentrations of pesticides relative to equivalent crops grown in the open field. To test this we examined pesticide data for crops selected from the quarterly reports (2004-2009) of the UK's Pesticide Residue Committee. Five comparison crop pairs were identified whereby one crop of each pair was assumed to have been grown primarily under some form of physical protection ('protected') and the other grown primarily in open field conditions ('open'). For each pair, the number of detectable pesticide residues and the proportion of crop samples containing pesticides were statistically compared (n=100 s samples for each crop). The mean concentrations of selected photolabile pesticides were also compared. For the crop pairings of cabbage ('open') vs. lettuce ('protected') and 'berries' ('open') vs. strawberries ('protected') there was a significantly higher number of pesticides and proportion of samples with multiple residues for the protected crops. Statistically higher concentrations of pesticides, including cypermethrin, cyprodinil, fenhexamid, boscalid and iprodione were also found in the protected crops compared to the open crops. The evidence here demonstrates that, in general, the protected crops possess a higher number of detectable pesticides compared to analogous crops grown in the open. This may be due to different pesticide-use regimes, but also due to slower rates of pesticide removal in protected systems. The findings of this study raise implications for pesticide management in protected-crop systems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Agronomic, Energetic and Environmental Aspects of Biomass Energy Crops Suitable for Italian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore L. Cosentino

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The review, after a short introduction on the tendencies of the European Community Policy on biomasses, describes the agronomic, energy potential and environmental aspects of biomass crops for energy in relation to the research activity carried out in Italy on this topic, differentiating crops on the basis of the main energy use: biodiesel and bioethanol (which refers to “first generation biofuel”, heat and electricity. Currently, many of the crops for potential energy purposes are food crops (wheat, barley, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugar beet and their production may be used as biofuel source (bioethanol and biodiesel since their crop management aspects are well known and consequently they are immediately applicable. Other species that could be used, highly productive in biomass, such as herbaceous perennial crops (Arundo donax, Miscanthus spp., cardoon, annual crops (sweet sorghum, short rotation woody crops (SRF have been carefully considered in Italy, but they still exhibit critical aspects related to propagation technique, low-input response, harvest and storage technique, cultivars and mechanization. Crops for food, however, often have negative energetic indices and environmental impacts (carbon sequestration, Life Cycle Assessment, consequent to their low productivity. Conversely, crops which are more productive in biomass, show both a more favourable energy balance and environmental impact.

  14. Agronomic, Energetic and Environmental Aspects of Biomass Energy Crops Suitable for Italian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The review, after a short introduction on the tendencies of the European Community Policy on biomasses, describes the agronomic, energy potential and environmental aspects of biomass crops for energy in relation to the research activity carried out in Italy on this topic, differentiating crops on the basis of the main energy use: biodiesel and bioethanol (which refers to “first generation biofuel”, heat and electricity. Currently, many of the crops for potential energy purposes are food crops (wheat, barley, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugar beet and their production may be used as biofuel source (bioethanol and biodiesel since their crop management aspects are well known and consequently they are immediately applicable. Other species that could be used, highly productive in biomass, such as herbaceous perennial crops (Arundo donax, Miscanthus spp., cardoon, annual crops (sweet sorghum, short rotation woody crops (SRF have been carefully considered in Italy, but they still exhibit critical aspects related to propagation technique, low-input response, harvest and storage technique, cultivars and mechanization. Crops for food, however, often have negative energetic indices and environmental impacts (carbon sequestration, Life Cycle Assessment, consequent to their low productivity. Conversely, crops which are more productive in biomass, show both a more favourable energy balance and environmental impact.

  15. Effect of pre-treatments on methane production potential of energy crops and crop residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtomaki, A.; Ronkainen; Rintala, J.A. [Jyvaskla Univ. (Finland). Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences; Viinikainen, T.A. [Jyvaskla Univ. (Finland). Dept. of Chemistry

    2004-07-01

    Energy crops, that is, crops grown specifically for energy purposes are an alternative to food production in areas with sufficient agricultural land. Crop residues are also a potential source of energy. The anaerobic digestion of solid materials is limited by hydrolysis of complex polymeric substances such as lignocellulose. The methane producing potential of ligno cellulosic material is to pretreat the substrate in order to break up the polymer chains to more easily accessible soluble compounds. In this study, three different substrates were used: sugar beet tops, grass hay, and straw of oats. Biological pretreatments were the following: enzyme treatment, composting, white-rot fungi treatment. Also, pretreatment in water was tried. Chemical pretreatments included peracetic acid treatment, and treatment with two different alkalis. Alkaline pretreatments of hay and sugar beet tops have the potential to improve the methane yield. For instance, the yield of grass hay was increased 15 per cent by one particular alkaline treatment. Straw did not respond to any of the treatments tried. 18 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs.

  16. Carbon storage and recycling in short-rotation energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ranney, J.W.; Wright, L.L.; Mitchell, C.P.

    1991-01-01

    Short-rotation energy crops can play a significant role in storing carbon compared to the agricultural land uses they would displace. However, the benefits from these plantations in avoiding further use of fossil fuel and in taking pressure off of native forests for energy uses provides longer term carbon benetfits than the plantation carbon sequestration itself. The fast growth and harvest frequency of plantations tends to limit the amount of above and below-ground carbon storage in them. The primary components of plantation carbon sequestering compared to sustained agricultural practices involve above-ground wood, possible increased soil carbon, litter layer formation, and increased root biomass. On the average, short-rotation plantations in total may increase carbon inventories by about 30 to 40 tonnes per hectare over about a 20- to 56-year period when displacing cropland. This is about doubling in storage over cropland and about one-half the storage in human-impacted forests. The sequestration benefit of wood energy crops over cropland would be negated in about 75 to 100 years by the use of fossil fuels to tend the plantations and handle biomass. Plantation interactions with other land uses and total landscape carbon inventory is important in assessing the relative role plantations play in terrestrial and atmospheric carbon dynamics. It is speculated that plantations, when viewed in this context. could trencrate a global leveling of net carbon emissions for approximately 10 to 20 years

  17. Climate protection and energy crops. Potential for greenhouse gas emission reduction through crop rotation and crop planning; Klimaschutz und Energiepflanzenanbau. Potenziale zur Treibhausgasemissionsminderung durch Fruchtfolge- und Anbauplanung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eckner, Jens [Thueringer Landesanstalt fuer Landwirtschaft (Germany); Peter, Christiane; Vetter, Armin

    2015-07-01

    The EVA project compares nationwide energy crops and crop rotations on site-specific productivity. In addition to agronomic suitability for cultivation economic and environmental benefits and consequences are analyzed and evaluated. As part of sustainability assessment of the tested cultivation options LCAs are established. The model MiLA developed in the project uses empirical test data and site parameters to prepare the inventory balances. At selected locations different cultivation and fertilization regimes are examined comparatively. In the comparison of individual crops and crop rotation combinations cultivation of W.Triticale-GPS at the cereals favor location Dornburg causes the lowest productrelated GHG-emissions. Due to the efficient implementation of nitrogen and the substrate properties of maize is the cultivation despite high area-related emissions and N-expenses at a low level of emissions. Because of the intensity the two culture systems offer lower emissions savings potentials with high area efficiency. Extensification with perennial alfalfagrass at low nitrogen effort and adequate yield performance show low product-related emissions. Closing the nutrient cycles through a recirculation of digestates instead of using mineral fertilization has a climate-friendly effect. Adapted intensifies of processing or reduced tillage decrease diesel consumption and their related emissions.

  18. Energy crops for biogas plants. Saxony-Anhalt; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Sachsen-Anhalt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boese, L.; Buttlar, C. von; Boettcher, K. (and others)

    2012-07-15

    For agriculturists in Saxony-Anhalt (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  19. Energy crops for biogas plants. Baden-Wuerttemberg; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Baden-Wuerttemberg

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Butz, A.; Heiermann, M.; Herrmann, C. [and others

    2013-05-01

    For agriculturists in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  20. Water-Energy Nexus: the case of biogas production from energy crops evaluated by Water Footprint and LCA methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacetti, Tommaso; Caporali, Enrica; Federici, Giorgio

    2015-04-01

    scale, WF results obtained for central Italy were compared with local water availability (Merse river basin), pinpointing the time dependence of the sustainability. This analysis highlights that wheat, even if more water intensive than other crops, has a WF that not burdens the driest period as maize and sorghum does, underlying importance of assessing the temporal distribution of water use. Further, WF was combined with LCA. First WF results were used as input for LCA inventory, and then some indicators of the selected impact assessment method were analyzed to obtain additional information mainly on water resource quality. The overall results show that biogas production from energy crops has in general negative impacts (i.e. beneficial environmental performances), due to the savings associated with avoided conventional energy production, for all the indicators except water depletion, fresh water ecotoxicity and marine ecotoxicity. WF and LCA results show the benefit of coupling the two methods. Since WF focuses on the water use and the LCA focus on an extended range of environmental loads, creating synergies between these two approaches can help having a comprehensive assessment and a better insight in the Nexus.

  1. Energy potential, energy ratios, and the amount of net energy in Finnish field crop production; Peltobioenergian tuotanto Suomessa. Potentiaali, energiasuhteet ja nettoenergia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mikkola, H.

    2012-11-01

    Energy potential, energy ratios, and the amount of net energy in Finnish field crop production were studied in this thesis. Special attention was paid to indirect energy inputs and how to treat them in energy analysis. Manufacturing of machines and agrochemicals and production of seeds are examples of indirect energy inputs.The bioenergy potential of the Finnish field crop production could be as large as 12 - 22 TWh, or 3 - 5% of the total energy consumption in Finland in 2008. The major part of this energy would originate from straw and biomass like reed canary grass cultivated for energy use. However, only 0.5 TWh of the potential is utilized. The output/input energy ratios of the studied field crops varied from 3 to 18, being highest (18) for reed canary grass and second highest (7) for sugar beet and grass cultivated for silage. The energy ratio of cereals and oil seed crops varied from 3 to 5 if only the yield of seeds was considered. If the yield of straw and stems was also taken into account the energy ratios would have been almost twofold. The energy ratios for Finnish wheat and barley were as high as those gained in Italian and Spanish conditions, respectively. However, the energy ratios of maize, elephant grass and giant reed were even over 50 in Central and Southern Europe. Plants that use the C4 photosynthesis pathway and produce high biomass yields thrive best in warm and sunny climate conditions. They use nitrogen and water more sparingly than C3 plants typically thriving in the cooler part of the temperate zone. When evaluating energy ratios for field crops it should be kept in mind that the maximal energy potential of the energy crop is the heating value of the dry matter at the field gate. Transportation of the crop and production of liquid fuels and electricity from biomass lowers the energy ratio. A comparison of field energy crops to a reforested field suggested that fast growing trees, as hybrid aspen and silver birch, would yield almost as

  2. Energy crops. Data for planning of energy crop cultivation. KTBL data compilation with internet services; Energiepflanzen. Daten fuer die Planung des Energiepflanzenanbaus. KTBL-Datensammlung mit Internetangebot

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eckel, H.; Grube, J.; Zimmer, E. (comps.)

    2006-07-01

    Based on the KTBL data compilation ''Betriebsplanung Landwirtschaft'', this data compilation (''Datensammlung Energiepflanzen'') provides comprehensive information on the cultivation of energy crops and production planning. Production techniques are outlined up to the final step of provision to the consumer, so that full-scale cost calculation is possible. Hints for cultivation are presented which take into account the differences between food and fodder crop cultivation. Rare crops are gone into for which little experience is available but which have great potential for utilisation in agriculture. Energetic utilisation is a field for a wider range of crops and with new options for crop rotation. These are discussed in two separate chapters. There is also information on legal aspects of energy crop production, relevant standards, and quality requirements on substrates for energetic use and for secondary harvesting. (orig.)

  3. What is the future for biofuels and bio-energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    This seminar is part of the Ifri research program on agricultural policies. It aims to evaluate the future prospects for the development of bio-energy crops in light of the new energetic and environmental order. Within one generation the hydrocarbon market will likely be under great pressure. The prospect of a lasting high oil price will lead to the use of renewable resources like biofuels. Moreover growing environmental concern about global warming give one more credibility to the development of biofuels. These fuels emit a limited amount of greenhouse gas compared to standard fuels. We have to therefore examine the development possibility of these fuels taking into account the agronomic features of the crops used, the technology of the transformation process and existing initiative policies with respect to the regions studied. Also, we have to evaluate the impact of the energy crisis on food supply via the substitution effect in land allocation. (author)

  4. Closed Loop Short Rotation Woody Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brower, Michael [CRC Development, LLC, Oakland, CA (United States)

    2012-09-30

    CRC Development LLC is pursuing commercialization of shrub willow crops to evaluate and confirm estimates of yield, harvesting, transportation and renewable energy conversion costs and to provide a diverse resource in its supply portfolio.The goal of Closed Loop Short Rotation Woody Biomass Energy Crops is supply expansion in Central New York to facilitate the commercialization of willow biomass crops as part of the mix of woody biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts. CRC Development LLC established the first commercial willow biomass plantation acreage in North America was established on the Tug Hill in the spring of 2006 and expanded in 2007. This was the first 230- acres toward the goal of 10,000 regional acres. This project replaces some 2007-drought damaged acreage and installs a total of 630-acre new planting acres in order to demonstrate to regional agricultural producers and rural land-owners the economic vitality of closed loop short rotation woody biomass energy crops when deployed commercially in order to motivate new grower entry into the market-place. The willow biomass will directly help stabilize the fuel supply for the Lyonsdale Biomass facility, which produces 19 MWe of power and exports 15,000 pph of process steam to Burrows Paper. This project will also provide feedstock to The Biorefinery in New York for the manufacture of renewable, CO2-neutral liquid transportation fuels, chemicals and polymers. This project helps end dependency on imported fossil fuels, adds to region economic and environmental vitality and contributes to national security through improved energy independence.

  5. Initial study - compilation and synthesis of knowledge about energy crops from field to energy production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berg, Magnus; Bubholz, Monika; Forsberg, Maya; Myringer, Aase; Palm, Ola; Roennbaeck, Marie; Tullin, Claes

    2007-11-15

    Energy crops constitute an yet not fully utilised potential as fuel for heating and power production. As competition for biomass increases interest in agricultural fuels such as straw, energy grain, willow, reed canary grass and hemp is increasing. Exploiting the potential for energy crops as fuels will demand that cultivation and harvest be coordinated with transportation, storage and combustion of the crops. Together, Vaermeforsk and the Swedish Farmers' Foundation for Agricultural Research (SLF), have taken the initiative to a common research programme. The long-term aim of the programme is to increase production and utilisation of bioenergy from agriculture to combustion for heat and power production in Sweden. The vision is that during the course of the 2006 - 2009 programme, decisive steps will be taken towards a functioning market for biofuels for bioenergy from agriculture. This survey has compiled and synthesised available knowledge and experiences about energy crops from field to energy production. The aim has been to provide a snapshot of knowledge today, to identify knowledge gaps and to synthesise knowledge we have today into future research needs. A research plan proposal has been developed for the research programme

  6. Mineral composition and ash content of six major energy crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monti, Andrea; Venturi, Gianpietro [Department of Agroenvironmental Science and Technologies (DiSTA), University of Bologna, Viale G. Fanin, 44, 40127 Bologna (Italy); Di Virgilio, Nicola [Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council, Via P. Gobetti, 101 I, 40129 Bologna (Italy)

    2008-03-15

    The chemical composition of biofuels has not received adequate attention given that it is an important aspect in the introduction of energy crops. In this study, the ash content and mineral composition (C, N, Al, Ca, Cl, Fe, K, Mg, Na, P, S, Si) of stems, leaves and reproductive organs of some promising energy crops were determined and compared with the respective recommended thresholds reported in literature. Overall, cynara exhibited the highest ash and mineral contents, which indicate high slagging, fouling and corrosion tendencies. However, cynara also showed the lowest Si content, both in leaves (4.3 g kg{sup -1}) and in stems (0.9 g kg{sup -1}). Sweet sorghum and giant reed exhibited the highest N content (up to 16 g kg{sup -1}), which greatly exceeded the recommended limits in leaves. Importantly, Cl always exceeded the recommended limits (up to 18 mg kg{sup -1} in cynara), both in stems and in leaves, thus resulting in a major stumbling block for all crops. Several significant correlations among elements were found at a single plant part; conversely these correlations were generally very weak considering different plant components, with the exception of K (r=0.91**), P (r=0.94**) and ashes (r=0.64**). Generally, leaves resulted in a significant deterioration of biofuel quality when compared with stems and flower heads. Therefore, agricultural strategies aimed at reducing the leaf component (e.g. by delaying the harvest) may considerably improve the suitability of biofuels for current combustion plants. (author)

  7. Some ecological and socio-economic considerations for biomass energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paine, L.K.; Undersander, D.J.; Temple, S.A.; Klemme, R.M.; Peterson, T.L.; Bartelt, G.A.; Sample, D.W.; Rineer, K.C.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to suggest a regional approach to ensure that energy crop production will proceed in an ecologically and economically sustainable way. At this juncture, we have the opportunity to build into the system some ecological and socio-economic values which have not traditionally been considered. If crop species are chosen and sited properly, incorporation of energy crops into our agricultural system could provide extensive wildlife habitat and address soil and water quality concerns, in addition to generating renewable power. We recommend that three types of agricultural land be targeted for perennial biomass energy crops: (1) highly erodible land; (2) wetlands presently converted to agricultural uses; and (3) marginal agricultural land in selected regions. Fitting appropriate species to these lands, biomass crops can be successfully grown on lands not ecologically suited for conventional farming practices, thus providing an environmental benefit in addition to producing an economic return to the land owner. (author)

  8. Fertilizer consumption and energy input for 16 crops in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amenumey, Sheila E.; Capel, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Fertilizer use by U.S. agriculture has increased over the past few decades. The production and transportation of fertilizers (nitrogen, N; phosphorus, P; potassium, K) are energy intensive. In general, about a third of the total energy input to crop production goes to the production of fertilizers, one-third to mechanization, and one-third to other inputs including labor, transportation, pesticides, and electricity. For some crops, fertilizer is the largest proportion of total energy inputs. Energy required for the production and transportation of fertilizers, as a percentage of total energy input, was determined for 16 crops in the U.S. to be: 19–60% for seven grains, 10–41% for two oilseeds, 25% for potatoes, 12–30% for three vegetables, 2–23% for two fruits, and 3% for dry beans. The harvested-area weighted-average of the fraction of crop fertilizer energy to the total input energy was 28%. The current sources of fertilizers for U.S. agriculture are dependent on imports, availability of natural gas, or limited mineral resources. Given these dependencies plus the high energy costs for fertilizers, an integrated approach for their efficient and sustainable use is needed that will simultaneously maintain or increase crop yields and food quality while decreasing adverse impacts on the environment.

  9. Policy Instruments for an Increased Supply of Energy Crops; Styrmedel foer ett utoekat utbud av biobraensle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stenkvist, Maria; Widmark, Annika; Wiklund, Sven-Erik; Liljeblad, Anna

    2009-05-15

    At present, energy crops are not commonly used as fuel for heat and power production in Sweden, but as a result of increased competition for biomass, the interest for agricultural fuels such as willow, straw, reed canary grass and hemp increases. The purpose of this study is through a qualitative study that includes a literature study as well as case studies carried out by interviews, with respondents in the agriculture- and energy sectors highlight the conditions for increased production and use of energy crops. The main objective is to propose relevant policy instruments that could increase the production and use of energy crops. The purpose with the proposed policy instruments is that they should serve as a basis for discussions with politicians and authorities regarding the supply of bio fuels through the use of energy crops. The result of the study indicates that the main obstacle for increasing the production and use of energy crops is that the cultivation of energy crops today is unprofitable. To reduce the production costs it is necessary to improve the competitiveness of energy crops, primarily in relation to wood chips. The study shows that there is a potential for reduction of production costs through development of the logistics chain. Policy measures promoting the use of bio fuels exists today, but are not fully used to increase the share of energy crops in the bio fuel energy mix. The reason for this is that they are generally not as cost efficient as alternative bio fuels. It is important that competition issues are addressed, both regarding competition issues between different bio fuels, but also competition issues between various energy crops that exists today. Further obstacles to accelerate the introduction of energy crops at the market are high investment costs for establishment of some of the energy crops. From the analysis in this study, the following policy instruments are suggested in order to increase the production and the use of energy

  10. Combined production of free-range pigs and energy crops – animal behaviour and crop damages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horsted, Klaus; Kongsted, Anne Grete; Jørgensen, Uffe

    2012-01-01

    Intensive free-range pig production on open grasslands has disadvantages in that it creates nutrient hotspots and little opportunity for pigs to seek shelter from the sun. Combining a perennial energy crop and pig production might benefit the environment and animal welfare because perennial energy...... crops like willow (Salix sp.) and Miscanthus offer the pigs protection from the sun while reducing nutrient leaching from pig excrements due to their deep rooting system. The objectives of this study were to evaluate how season and stocking density of pigs in a free-range system with zones of willow...

  11. Optimal combination of energy crops under different policy scenarios; The case of Northern Greece

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zafeiriou, Eleni; Petridis, Konstantinos; Karelakis, Christos; Arabatzis, Garyfallos

    2016-01-01

    Energy crops production is considered as environmentally benign and socially acceptable, offering ecological benefits over fossil fuels through their contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases and acidifying emissions. Energy crops are subjected to persistent policy support by the EU, despite their limited or even marginally negative impact on the greenhouse effect. The present study endeavors to optimize the agricultural income generated by energy crops in a remote and disadvantageous region, with the assistance of linear programming. The optimization concerns the income created from soybean, sunflower (proxy for energy crop), and corn. Different policy scenarios imposed restrictions on the value of the subsidies as a proxy for EU policy tools, the value of inputs (costs of capital and labor) and different irrigation conditions. The results indicate that the area and the imports per energy crop remain unchanged, independently of the policy scenario enacted. Furthermore, corn cultivation contributes the most to iFncome maximization, whereas the implemented CAP policy plays an incremental role in uptaking an energy crop. A key implication is that alternative forms of motivation should be provided to the farmers beyond the financial ones in order the extensive use of energy crops to be achieved. - Highlights: •A stochastic and a deterministic LP model is formulated. •The role of CAP is vital in generated income. •Imports and cultivated areas are subsidy neutral. •The regime of free market results in lower income acquired from the potential crop mix. •Non – financial motivation is a key determinant of the farmers’ attitude towards energy crops.

  12. Energy crops for biogas plants. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aurbacher, J.; Bull, I.; Formowitz, B. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    For agriculturists in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Federal Republic of Germany), the brochure under consideration provides recommendations on alternative crop rotation systems. With the help of these alternative cultivation systems, crop rotation with high yields in combination with high diversity, diversification and sustainability can be realized. Subsequently to the presentation of energy crops for the production of biogas, recommendations for the design of crop rotation are given. Other chapters of this booklet deal with ensilage and gas yields as well as the economics of energy crop cultivation.

  13. Energy use in cropping systems: A regional long-term exploratory analysis of energy allocation and efficiency in the Inland Pampa (Argentina)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferraro, Diego Omar

    2012-01-01

    As agricultural system comprises natural processes that are ruled by thermodynamics, the energy utilization is well suited for assessing the sustainability in the management of natural resources. The goals of this paper are 1) to assess the energy use efficiency of the main crops during the 1992–2005 period in Inland Pampa (Argentina); 2) to evaluate the database structure in terms of energy allocation; 3) to assess the changes in technical efficiency using frontier analysis and 4) to identify the best explanatory variables for energy efficiency variability. Results showed an upward trend in productivity per unit area in the crops analyzed (excluding sunflower). Summer soybean and sunflower showed higher energy efficiency values by the end of time series. The main shift in the energy use pattern was the reduction of the energy allocated to tillage. The overall performance of the wheat and soybean crops in the study area appears to be closer to the energy usage pattern shown by the top 5% energy use efficiency crop fields. The exploratory analysis using classification and regression trees (CART) revealed that the energy allocation to tillage; and the crop specie were the attributes that mainly explained the energy efficiency changes. -- Highlights: ► Energy use efficiency (EUE) of main Pampean crops (Argentina) in the 1992–2005 period was analyzed. ► An upward trend in productivity per unit area was observed with the exception of sunflower crop. ► Summer soybean and sunflower showed higher energetic efficiencies by the end of the time series analyzed. ► Average wheat and soybean EUE were closer to the energy usage pattern of the top 5% EUE crop fields. ► Tillage energy and crop specie were the attributes that most strongly explain the EUE changes.

  14. ORGANOFINERY: FROM GREEN CROPS TO PROTEINS, ENERGY AND FERTILISER

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salces, Beatriz Molinuevo; Fernandez, Maria Santamaria; Kiel, P.

    Difficulties with the supply of organic protein feed; low crop yields and low value of leguminous forage crops and a lack of organic fertilisers are nowadays some of the major challenges faced in organic farming with monogastric animals. Thus, organic farmers are forced to import feed and manure ...... from conventional farms. In order to overcome these challenges, the OrganoFinery project targets to develop a green biorefinery concept where organic crops are utilised for animal feed, fertiliser and energy production by producing biogas....

  15. Compatibility of switchgrass as an energy crop in farming systems of the southeastern USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bransby, D.I.; Rodriguez-Kabana, R.; Sladden, S.E. [Auburn Univ., AL (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The objective of this paper is to examine the compatibility of switchgrass as an energy crop in farming systems in the southeastern USA, relative to other regions. In particular, the issues addressed are (1) competition between switchgrass as an energy crop and existing farm enterprises, based primarily on economic returns, (2) complementarity between switchgrass and existing farm enterprises, and (3) environmental benefits. Because projected economic returns for switchgrass as an energy crop are highest in the Southeast, and returns from forestry and beef pastures (the major existing enterprises) are low, there is a very strong economic incentive in this region. In contrast, based on current information, economic viability of switchgrass as an energy crop in other regions appears doubtful. In addition, switchgrass in the southeastern USA would complement forage-livestock production, row crop production and wildlife and would provide several additional environmental benefits. It is concluded that the southeastern USA offers the greatest opportunity for developing switchgrass as an economically viable energy crop.

  16. Analysis of Selected Environmental Indicators in the Cultivation System of Energy Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Šoltysová Božena Š

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The changes of selected chemical parameters were observed in Gleyic Fluvisols. The field experiment was established as a twofactor experiment with four energy crops (Arundo donax L., Miscanthus × giganteus, Elymus elongatus Gaertner, Sida hermafrodita and two variants of fertilization (nitrogen fertilization in rate 60 kg ha-1, without nitrogen fertilization. Soil samples were taken from the depth of 0 to 0.3 m at the beginning of the experiment in the autumn 2012 and at the end of reference period in the autumn 2015. Land management conversion from market crops to perennial energy crops cultivation has influenced changes of selected soil chemical parameters. The contents of soil organic carbon were affected by cultivated energy crops differently. It was found out that Arundo increased the organic carbon content and Miscanthus, Elymus and Sida decreased its content. At the same time, the same impact of the crops on content of available phosphorus and potassium and soil reaction was found. It was recorded that each cultivated crop decreased the soil reaction and available phosphorus content and increased the content of available potassium.

  17. National and regional economic impacts of electricity production from energy crops in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlasblom, J.; Broek, R. van den; Meeusen-van Onna, M.

    1998-01-01

    Besides the known environmental benefits, national and regional economic impacts may form additional arguments for stimulating government measures in favour of electricity production from energy crops in the Netherlands. Therefore, we compared the economic impacts (at both national and regional

  18. Interest in energy wood and energy crop production among Finnish non-industrial private forest owners

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raemoe, A.-K.; Jaervinen, E.; Latvala, T.; Toivonen, R.; Silvennoinen, H.

    2009-01-01

    EU targets and regulations regarding energy production and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions have been tightening in the 2000s. In Finland the targets are planned to be achieved mainly by increasing the use of biomass. Wood already accounts for a marked proportion of Finnish energy production, but additional reserves are still available. Energy crop production also has considerable potential. Practically all Finnish farmers are also forest owners. Therefore, private forest owners are in a decisive position regarding the supply of energy wood and crops in Finland. In this paper the future supply of biomass is examined according to their past behaviour, intentions and attitudes. Finnish forest owners have a positive attitude towards the use of wood and crops in energy production. Price is becoming more critical as a motive for the supply of energy wood. Recreation and nature conservation play a smaller role than factors related to wood production and forest management as for motives for harvesting energy wood. However, almost a half of forest owners in this study were uncertain of their willingness to supply biomass. This is partly due to limited knowledge of the issues involved in energy wood and agricultural energy crop production and the underdeveloped markets for energy biomass. In order to achieve the targets, supply should be activated by further developing market practices, information, guidance and possibly other incentives for landowners. In general, there is interest among landowners in increasing the supply of energy biomass. However, the growth of supply presumes that production is an economically attractive and competitive alternative, that the markets are better organized than at present, and that more comprehensive information is available about bioenergy and biomass markets and production techniques.

  19. Multicriteria analysis for the selection of the most appropriate energy crops: the case of Cyprus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kylili, Angeliki; Christoforou, Elias; Fokaides, Paris A.; Polycarpou, Polycarpos

    2016-01-01

    Energy crops are considered key actors in meeting the international and European carbon reduction targets, increasing the national energy security through renewable energy production, mitigating climate change impacts, and promoting sustainability. Multicriteria analysis is a suitable decision-making tool for the energy sector, where the final decisions have to consider for a range of aspects, and can be utilised as well for deciding on appropriate energy crops. In this paper, a popular multicriteria method, PROMETHEE, is employed for the identification of the most optimal energy crops for their exploitation in Cyprus. The criteria and the weights of each are defined, and accordingly five different scenarios are developed and examined. The obtained results indicated that the promotion of second-generation energy crops is more ideal in terms of the set objectives, as well as more sustainable than the exploitation of any first-generation energy crop.

  20. An Assessment of Direct on-Farm Energy Use for High Value Grain Crops Grown under Different Farming Practices in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tek Maraseni

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Several studies have quantified the energy consumption associated with crop production in various countries. However, these studies have not compared the energy consumption from a broad range of farming practices currently in practice, such as zero tillage, conventional tillage and irrigated farming systems. This study examines direct on-farm energy use for high value grain crops grown under different farming practices in Australia. Grain farming processes are identified and “typical” farming operation data are collected from several sources, including published and unpublished literature, as well as expert interviews. The direct on-farm energy uses are assessed for 27 scenarios, including three high value grain crops―wheat, barley and sorghum―for three regions (Northern, Southern and Western Australia under three farming conditions with both dryland (both for conventional and zero-tillage and irrigated conditions. It is found that energy requirement for farming operations is directly related to the intensity and frequency of farming operations, which in turn is related to tillage practices, soil types, irrigation systems, local climate, and crop types. Among the three studied regions, Western Australia requires less direct on-farm energy for each crop, mainly due to the easily workable sandy soils and adoption of zero tillage systems. In irrigated crops, irrigation energy remains a major contributor to the total on-farm energy demand, accounting for up to 85% of total energy use.

  1. Energy crop (Sida hermaphrodita) fertilization using digestate under marginal soil conditions: A dose-response experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabel, Moritz; Bueno Piaz Barbosa, Daniela; Horsch, David; Jablonowski, Nicolai David

    2014-05-01

    The global demand for energy security and the mitigation of climate change are the main drivers pushing energy-plant production in Germany. However, the cultivation of these plants can cause land use conflicts since agricultural soil is mostly used for plant production. A sustainable alternative to the conventional cultivation of food-based energy-crops is the cultivation of special adopted energy-plants on marginal lands. To further increase the sustainability of energy-plant cultivation systems the dependency on synthetic fertilizers needs to be reduced via closed nutrient loops. In the presented study the energy-plant Sida hermaphrodita (Malvaceae) will be used to evaluate the potential to grow this high potential energy-crop on a marginal sandy soil in combination with fertilization via digestate from biogas production. With this dose-response experiment we will further identify an optimum dose, which will be compared to equivalent doses of NPK-fertilizer. Further, lethal doses and deficiency doses will be observed. Two weeks old Sida seedlings were transplanted to 1L pots and fertilized with six doses of digestate (equivalent to a field application of 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160t/ha) and three equivalent doses of NPK-fertilizer. Control plants were left untreated. Sida plants will grow for 45 days under greenhouse conditions. We hypothesize that the nutrient status of the marginal soil can be increased and maintained by defined digestate applications, compared to control plants suffering of nutrient deficiency due to the low nutrient status in the marginal substrate. The dose of 40t/ha is expected to give a maximum biomass yield without causing toxicity symptoms. Results shall be used as basis for further experiments on the field scale in a field trial that was set up to investigate sustainable production systems for energy crop production under marginal soil conditions.

  2. Phytoremediation, a sustainable remediation technology? II: Economic assessment of CO2 abatement through the use of phytoremediation crops for renewable energy production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Witters, N.; Mendelsohn, R.; Van Passel, S.; Van Slycken, S.; Weyens, N.; Schreurs, E.; Meers, E.; Tack, F.; Vanheusden, B.; Vangronsveld, J.

    2012-01-01

    Phytoremediation could be a sustainable remediation alternative for conventional remediation technologies. However, its implementation on a commercial scale remains disappointing. To emphasize its sustainability, this paper examines whether and how the potential economic benefit of CO 2 abatement for different crops used for phytoremediation or sustainable land management purposes could promote phytotechnologies. Our analysis is based on a case study in the Campine region, where agricultural soils are contaminated with mainly cadmium. We use Life Cycle Analysis to show for the most relevant crops (willow (Salix spp), energy maize (Zea mays), and rapeseed (Brassica napus)), that phytoremediation, used for renewable energy production, could abate CO 2 . Converting this in economic numbers through the Marginal Abatement Cost of CO 2 (€ 20 ton −1 ) we can integrate this in the economic analysis to compare phytoremediation crops among each other, and phytoremediation with conventional technologies. The external benefit of CO 2 abatement when using phytoremediation crops for land management ranges between € 55 and € 501 per hectare. The purpose of these calculations is not to calculate a subsidy for phytoremediation. There is no reason why one would prefer phytoremediation crops for renewable energy production over “normal” biomass. Moreover, subsidies for renewable energy already exist. Therefore, we should not integrate these numbers in the economic analysis again. However, these numbers could contribute to making explicit the competitive advantage of phytoremediation compared to conventional remediation technologies, but also add to a more sustainably funded decision on which crop should be grown on contaminated land. -- Highlights: ► We add CO 2 abatement for each remediation crop to the private economic analysis. ► This values the advantage of phytoremediation compared to conventional remediation. ► This leads to a crop choice that considers an

  3. Impact of chashma right-canal on energy-inputs and crop production in dera ismail khan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, M.A.; Rehman, A.; Singh, G.

    2005-01-01

    The main objective of the present study was to investigate the patterns of energy-consumption and their relationship with crop-production and poverty-alleviation of the farming community, before and after the completion of Chashma Right-Bank Canal (CRBC) Project. A survey was made of daily inputs of energy for crop-production operations on more than 60 crop plots of 10 farms in three villages. The selection of farms in the villages was based on the financial condition of the farmers, as judged by the main power-source (bullock or tractor) that the farmer uses on his farm. Sources of energy recorded on biweekly basis were: human labor, bullocks and tractors. Crops-yields and values of output were recorded. Energy-inputs were computed on per hectare basis by summing the energy inputs to all crop-plots. Results indicated that the use of tractors does result in a reduction of human labor-hours and bullock-energy on per hectare basis. Due to lack of a permanent source of irrigation (crops were dependent on rain and floodwater), the crop-yield in the study areas was low before CRBC improvement work. Moreover, floods also damaged the crops on some plots before harvesting; therefore the consumption of energy on both bullock-operated farms (BOF) and Tractor-Operated Farms (TOF) was very low in the 1992-93 year. Post CRBC project, during 1997-98 and 2000-2001, the farms used more energy. In 1997-98, TOF obtained higher wheat-yields than BOF. However, in 2000-2001, both BOF and TOF were using tractors as their main power source, which indirectly indicated a reduction 'in poverty. As the yields and therefore crop-values were higher on TOF than BOF, the TOF obtained higher gross margins. Cost of production was low in 1992-93, but the crop-values were also low, so the gross margins remained low. Results indicate that there will be an increase in production and a reduction in cost of production through mechanized farming, however, there will be an increase in energy

  4. Tillage and residue management effect on soil properties, crop performance and energy relations in greengram (Vigna radiata L. under maize-based cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.R. Meena

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Effect of tillage and crop residue management on soil properties, crop performance, energy relations and economics in greengram (Vigna radiata L. was evaluated under four maize-based cropping systems in an Inceptisol of Delhi, India. Soil bulk density, hydraulic conductivity and aggregation at 0–15 cm layer were significantly affected both by tillage and cropping systems, while zero tillage significantly increased the soil organic carbon content. Yields of greengram were significantly higher in maize–chickpea and maize–mustard systems, more so with residue addition. When no residue was added, conventional tillage required 20% higher energy inputs than the zero tillage, while the residue addition increased the energy output in both tillage practices. Maize–wheat–greengram cropping system involved the maximum energy requirement and the cost of production. However, the largest net return was obtained from the maize–chickpea–greengram system under the conventional tillage with residue incorporation. Although zero tillage resulted in better aggregation, C content and N availability in soil, and reduced the energy inputs, cultivation of summer greengram appeared to be profitable under conventional tillage system with residue incorporation.

  5. Modelling farmer uptake of perennial energy crops in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherrington, Chris; Moran, Dominic

    2010-01-01

    The UK Biomass Strategy suggests that to reach the technical potential of perennial energy crops such as short rotation coppice (SRC) willow and miscanthus by 2020 requires 350,000 hectares of land. This represents a more than 20-fold increase on the current 15,546 hectares. Previous research has identified several barriers to adoption, including concerns over security of income from contracts. In addition, farmers perceive returns from these crops to be lower than for conventional crops. This paper uses a farm-level linear programming model to investigate theoretical uptake of energy crops at different gross margins under the assumption of a profit-maximising decision maker, and in the absence of known barriers to adoption. The findings suggest that while SRC willow, at current prices, remains less competitive, returns to miscanthus should have encouraged adoption on a wider scale than at present. This highlights the importance of the barriers to adoption. Recently announced contracts for miscanthus appear to offer a significant premium to farmers in order to encourage them to grow the crops. This raises the question of whether a more cost-effective approach would be for government to provide guarantees addressing farmers concerns including security of income from the contracts. Such an approach should encourage adoption at lower gross margins. (author)

  6. Watershed Scale Optimization to Meet Sustainable Cellulosic Energy Crop Demand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaubey, Indrajeet [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Cibin, Raj [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Bowling, Laura [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Brouder, Sylvie [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Cherkauer, Keith [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Engel, Bernard [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Frankenberger, Jane [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Goforth, Reuben [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Gramig, Benjamin [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Volenec, Jeffrey [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)

    2017-03-24

    The overall goal of this project was to conduct a watershed-scale sustainability assessment of multiple species of energy crops and removal of crop residues within two watersheds (Wildcat Creek, and St. Joseph River) representative of conditions in the Upper Midwest. The sustainability assessment included bioenergy feedstock production impacts on environmental quality, economic costs of production, and ecosystem services.

  7. Comparison of energy inputs in glasshouse double crop (fall and summer crops) tomato production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozkan, Burhan; Ceylan, R. Figen; Kizilay, Hatice [Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics, Akdeniz University, Antalya 07070 (Turkey)

    2011-05-15

    The study examines energy use patterns and the relationship between energy inputs and yield for double crop (fall and summer) glasshouse tomato production in Antalya province, where is one of the most important greenhouse centres in Turkey. The data of the study was retrieved from 37 fall and 25 summer glasshouse tomato producers via face to face survey in 2007. The research findings revealed energy use values for inputs such as manure, electricity, chemical fertilizer and fuel. While the average yield per hectare is 25025.4 kg for enterprises involved in tomato production in fall, it is 22392.9 kg for summer production. The overall energy consumption is higher in fall production with 81362.2 MJ ha{sup -1} in comparison to summer production 63023.2 MJ ha{sup -1}. In addition, the specific energy requirement is 3521.2 MJ t{sup -1} and 2814.4 MJ t{sup -1} for fall and summer production in order and the energy efficiency was found out to be 0.31 kg MJ{sup -1} and 0.36 kg MJ{sup -1} respectively. Finally, the energy relationship was tested using the production relationship. The findings indicated that direct energy sources are effective in tomato yield for both of the two seasons. More clearly, the most significant energy input was electrical energy for summer production and a combination of electrical energy, human power and machinery for fall production. Yet, excess and unconscious use of chemical ingredients in glasshouse tomato production was confirmed as energy derived from chemical drugs leaded a declination in the yield for fall season. Therefore, the paper revealed energy relationship for double crop glasshouse tomato production in Antalya, being a reference for similar production methodologies. (author)

  8. Benefits of supplementing an industrial waste anaerobic digester with energy crops for increased biogas production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nges, Ivo Achu; Escobar, Federico; Fu, Xinmei; Björnsson, Lovisa

    2012-01-01

    Currently, there is increasing competition for waste as feedstock for the growing number of biogas plants. This has led to fluctuation in feedstock supply and biogas plants being operated below maximum capacity. The feasibility of supplementing a protein/lipid-rich industrial waste (pig manure, slaughterhouse waste, food processing and poultry waste) mesophilic anaerobic digester with carbohydrate-rich energy crops (hemp, maize and triticale) was therefore studied in laboratory scale batch and continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR) with a view to scale-up to a commercial biogas process. Co-digesting industrial waste and crops led to significant improvement in methane yield per ton of feedstock and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as compared to digestion of the industrial waste alone. Biogas production from crops in combination with industrial waste also avoids the need for micronutrients normally required in crop digestion. The batch co-digestion methane yields were used to predict co-digestion methane yield in full scale operation. This was done based on the ratio of methane yields observed for laboratory batch and CSTR experiments compared to full scale CSTR digestion of industrial waste. The economy of crop-based biogas production is limited under Swedish conditions; therefore, adding crops to existing industrial waste digestion could be a viable alternative to ensure a constant/reliable supply of feedstock to the anaerobic digester. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The seawater greenhouse: desalination and crop-production in arid zones based on renewable energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davies, P. A.; Paton, C.; Sablani, S. S.; Perret, J.; Goosen, M. F. A.; Walterbeek, Reinier R.

    2006-01-01

    population growth is threatening the avaliability of fresh water in many regions of the world. With agriculture accounting for approximately 70% of all water used, the water crisis is closely linked to food production and economic development. Conventional agriculture is very inefficient in its use of water with several hundred liters needed to produce just one kilogram of produce. Although seawater is abundant, conventional desalination consumes substantial energy, usually derived from fossil fuels. There is an urgent ned for affordable and sustainable means of p[roducing crops, without heavy reliance on water and energy resource. The seawater Greenhouse is a novel approach to solving this problem. It combines energy-efficient desalination with water-efficient cultivation. Pilot projects have been constructed in Tenerife, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. This paper describes the results from these projects and outlines the potential for opening the seawater Greenhouse from renewable energy sources. Different types of source are evaluated and compared with respect to cost and load matching. Conclusions are drawn about the viability of a stand-alone system for the production of water and crops.(Author)

  10. Energy crops for biogas plants. Brandenburg; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Brandenburg

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adam, L.; Barthelmes, G.; Biertuempfel, A. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    In the brochure under consideration, the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzen-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reported on recommendations on alternative cropping systems for energy crop rotations in order to achieve high yields in combination with high diversity, risk spreading and sustainability. In particular, the natural site conditions in the Federal State of Brandenburg (Federal Republic of Germany) are determined.

  11. Energy self-reliance, net-energy production and GHG emissions in Danish organic cash crop farms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halberg, Niels; Dalgaard, Randi; Olesen, Jørgen E

    2008-01-01

    -energy production were modeled. Growing rapeseed on 10% of the land could produce bio-diesel to replace 50-60% of the tractor diesel used on the farm. Increasing grass-clover area to 20% of the land and using half of this yield for biogas production could change the cash crop farm to a net energy producer......, and reduce GHG emissions while reducing the overall output of products only marginally. Increasing grass-clover area would improve the nutrient management on the farm and eliminate dependence on conventional pig slurry if the biogas residues were returned to cash crop fields...

  12. Evaluating trees as energy crops in Napa County

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean R. Donaldson; Richard B. Standiford

    1983-01-01

    An evaluation of tree species for energy crops was initiated at two areas in Napa County, California. At one area, Eucalyptus viminalis at 39 months was significantly taller than E. camaldulensis at 50 months. Also evaluated were five clones of Pinus radiata, Juglans regia X hindsii...

  13. Energy crops for biogas plants. Saxony; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Sachsen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biertuempfel, A.; Buttlar, C. von; Conrad, M. [and others

    2012-08-15

    In the brochure under consideration the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzow-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reports on the support of the implementation of different plant cultures in structure of plantations and crop rotation systems of companies under consideration of the Federal State Saxony. The main chapters of this brochure are: Crops for the production of biogas; implementation in plantations; ensilage and biogas yields; economy of the cultivation of energy plants.

  14. Energy crops for biogas plants. Thuringia; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Thueringen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biertuempfel, A.; Bischof, R.; Conrad, M. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    In the brochure under consideration the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzow-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reports on the support of the implementation of different plant cultures in structure of plantations and crop rotation systems of companies under consideration of the Federal State Thuringia. The main chapters of this brochure are: Crops for the production of biogas; implementation in plantations; ensilage and biogas yields; economy of the cultivation of energy plants.

  15. Modelling of cadmium fluxes on energy crop land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palm, V.

    1992-04-01

    The flux of cadmium on energy crop land is investigated. Three mechanisms are accounted for; Uptake by plant, transport with water, and sorption to soil. Sorption is described with Freundlich isotherms. The system is simulated mathematically in order to estimate the sensitivity and importance of different parameters on the cadmium flow and sorption. The water flux through the soil and the uptake by plants are simulated with a hydrological model, SOIL. The simulated time period is two years. The parameters describing root distribution and evaporation due to crop are taken from measurements on energy crop (Salix). The resulting water flux, water content in the soil profile and the water uptake into roots, for each day and soil compartment, are used in the cadmium sorption simulation. In the cadmium sorption simulation the flux and equilibrium chemistry of cadmium is calculated. It is shown that the amount of cadmium that accumulates in the plant, and the depth to which the applied cadmium reaches depends strongly on the constants in the sorption isotherm. With an application of 10 mg Cd/m 2 in the given range of Freundlich equations, the simulations gave a plant uptake of between 0 and 30 % of the applied cadmium in two years. At higher concentrations, where cadmium sorption can be described by nonlinear isotherms, more cadmium is present in soil water and is generally more bioavailable. 25 refs

  16. Sustainability of energy crops. Four papers by the Centre for Agriculture and Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Van Kuik, M.; Van Zeijts, H.

    1998-07-01

    Between 1994 and 1996 CLM developed a method for assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of producing and using energy from agricultural and forest biomass. The method has much in common with environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). CLM has also co-ordinated a concerted action called 'Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'. LCA is at present the best available instrument for assessing the ecological sustainability of energy crops. CLM focused on three topics disseminating the results of the concerted action; updating the work on bioethanol, and proposals for new financial instruments. The results are presented in this report. First, the results from the concerted action and work carried out by CLM were disseminated. Papers were presented at the international conference on 'Implementation of solid biofuels for carbon dioxide mitigation', 29-30 September 1997, Uppsala, Sweden, and at the international workshop on 'Environmental aspects of energy crop production', 9-10 October 1997, Brasimone, Italy. In addition, a paper was written on the need to co-ordinate policy options to stimulate the production and use of energy crops from an energy, agricultural and environmental point of view. Second, a study on bioethanol was carried out in which data obtained elsewhere on the use of bioethanol as a transport fuel were revised and updated. The sustainability of bioethanol production from sugar beet was compared with that of bioethanol from winter wheat. Using bioethanol from sugar beet replaces more fossil energy than bioethanol from winter wheat. For both crops, the costs per ton avoided CO2 decrease over time to 2010, but are still higher than electricity routes. The third action was the development of proposals for new financial instruments to stimulate energy production from biomass in the agricultural and forestry sector. This proposal was presented at the ALTENER Seminar on 'Financial incentives for

  17. Characterization of the southwest United States for the production of biomass energy crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salk, M.S.; Folger, A.G.

    1987-03-01

    The southwest United States, an area of diverse climate, topography, terrain, soils, and vegetation, is characterized to determine the feasibility of growing terrestrial energy crops there. The emphasis in the study is on delineating general zones of relative resource and environmental suitability, which are then evaluated to estimate the potential of the region for energy crop production. 100 refs., 25 figs., 24 tabs.

  18. Current and future financial competitiveness of electricity and heat from energy crops: A case study from Ireland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Styles, David; Jones, Michael B.

    2007-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that Miscanthus and willow energy-crop cultivation could be economically competitive with current agricultural land uses at a farm-gate biomass price ranging from EUR70 to EUR130 t -1 dry matter [Styles, D., Thorne, F., Jones, M.B., in review. Energy crops in Ireland: An economic comparison of willow and Miscanthus production with conventional farming systems. Biomass and Bioenergy, May 2006]. This paper uses the same farm-gate prices to calculate the economic competitiveness of energy crop electricity and heat production, using a net-present-value (NPV) approach (20-year period, 5% discount rate). Direct and gasified co-firing of willow wood with coal would result in electricity generation 30% or 37% more expensive than coal generation, at current coal and CO 2 allowance prices and a farm-gate biomass cost of EUR100 t -1 . 'Break-even' CO 2 allowance prices are EUR33 and EUR37 t -1 , respectively. However, co-firing of Miscanthus with peat is close to economic competitiveness, and would require a CO 2 allowance price of EUR16 t -1 to break-even (against a current price of EUR12 t -1 ). NPV analyses indicate that wood heat is significantly cheaper than oil, gas or electric heat, excluding existing wood-boiler installation subsidies. Discounted annual savings range from EUR143 compared with gas to EUR722 compared with electric heating at the domestic scale and from EUR3454 to EUR11,222 at the commercial scale. Inclusion of available subsidies improves the comparative economics of domestic wood heat substantially. The economic advantage of wood heat is robust to variation in fuel prices, discount rates and heat loads. The greatest obstacles to energy-crop utilisation include: (i) a reluctance to consider long-term economics; (ii) possible competition from cheaper sources of biomass; (iii) the need for a spatially coordinated supply and utilisation network. (author)

  19. Evaluation of triticale as energy crop in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantale, Cristina; Correnti, Angelo; Farneti, Anna; Felici, Fabio; Mentuccia, Luciano; Pignatelli, Vito; Sprocati, Anna Rosa; Ammar, Karim; Galeffi, Patrizia

    2014-01-01

    The promotion of renewable energy represents a target of the European 2020 strategy for economical growth and sustainable competitiveness. Cereals are considered a promising biomass producing crop in temperate regions of Europe to be used for both fuel alcohol and biogas production. Among cereals, triticale represents a good candidate for this kind of application, showing a number of advantages such as high grain yield even in marginal environments, tolerance to drought, tolerance to more acid soils, lower production costs and lower susceptibility to biotic stresses. The aim of this study was to compare yield and quality of eight triticale lines grown in marginal areas in a two-year experiment. Italian variety, Magistral, and a bread wheat variety (EW9) were selected for comparison. Data from fields, chemical analyses and preliminary results from fermentation are reported.

  20. Comparative life cycle assessment of the integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass (IFBB) and whole crop digestion (WCD) in Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buehle, Lutz; Stuelpnagel, R.; Wachendorf, M.

    2011-01-01

    Today's bioenergy systems are very different in cultivation, conservation, conversion of the biomass as well as in the form of the final energy. The assessment of bioenergy systems concerning environmental impacts is increasingly up for discussion. Future challenges will be the development of procedures which reconcile high-yielding and efficient approaches with environment friendly production. Against this background the system of Integrated Generation of Solid Fuel and Biogas from Biomass (IFBB) was suggested to increase net energy yields over a wide range of energy crops in order to obtain a higher biodiversity in energy crop cultivation. In the IFBB procedure the ensiled biomass is separated into a liquid phase for biogas production and into a solid fraction for combustion. This work is aimed at the assessment of the IFBB system in comparison to whole crop digestion (WCD). The assessment is based on crop production in a double-cropping system where winter rye and maize are grown subsequently within one growing season. The main parameters investigated are the efficiency of the whole process, primary energy and greenhouse gas savings as well as potentials of acidification and eutrophication according to principles of Life Cycle Assessment. The calculation of energy efficiency shows a superiority of the IFBB system due to a mainly thermal use of the biomass. Savings of fossil primary energy average at a similar level, whereas greenhouse gas savings are slightly higher for WCD. Investigations on acidification and eutrophication show that both bioenergy systems caused higher emissions compared to the fossil-based reference technique. (author)

  1. Environmental performance of crop residues as an energy source for electricity production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nguyen, T Lan T; Hermansen, John Erik; Mogensen, Lisbeth

    2013-01-01

    This paper aims to address the question, “What is the environmental performance of crop residues as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels, and whether and how can it be improved?”. In order to address the issue, we compare electricity production from wheat straw to that from coal and natural...... gas. The results on the environmental performance of straw for energy utilization and the two fossil fuel references are displayed first for different midpoint categories and then aggregated into a single score. The midpoint impact assessment shows that substitution of straw either for coal...... or for natural gas reduces global warming, non-renewable energy use, human toxicity and ecotoxicity, but increases eutrophication, respiratory inorganics, acidification and photochemical ozone. The results at the aggregate level show that the use of straw biomass for conversion to energy scores better than...

  2. Opportunities for Energy Crop Production Based on Subfield Scale Distribution of Profitability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian J. Bonner

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Incorporation of dedicated herbaceous energy crops into row crop landscapes is a promising means to supply an expanding biofuel industry while benefiting soil and water quality and increasing biodiversity. Despite these positive traits, energy crops remain largely unaccepted due to concerns over their practicality and cost of implementation. This paper presents a case study for Hardin County, Iowa, to demonstrate how subfield decision making can be used to target candidate areas for conversion to energy crop production. Estimates of variability in row crop production at a subfield level are used to model the economic performance of corn (Zea mays L. grain and the environmental impacts of corn stover collection using the Landscape Environmental Analysis Framework (LEAF. The strategy used in the case study integrates switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. into subfield landscape positions where corn grain is modeled to return a net economic loss. Results show that switchgrass integration has the potential to increase sustainable biomass production from 48% to 99% (depending on the rigor of conservation practices applied to corn stover collection, while also improving field level profitability of corn. Candidate land area is highly sensitive to grain price (0.18 to 0.26 $·kg−1 and dependent on the acceptable subfield net loss for corn production (ranging from 0 to −1000 $·ha−1 and the ability of switchgrass production to meet or exceed this return. This work presents the case that switchgrass may be economically incorporated into row crop landscapes when management decisions are applied at a subfield scale within field areas modeled to have a negative net profit with current management practices.

  3. MAFF overview - the present policy on energy crops, the effect of GATT and CAP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, Richard

    1992-01-01

    This item outlines current United Kingdom government policy on energy crops. A representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food describes the effect of current international trade agreement negotiations on policy on energy crops, particularly cereals and oilseeds. The success of biofuels is thought to depend chiefly on the prevailing fiscal climate. (UK)

  4. 4F CROPS: Future crops for food, feed, fibre and fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    E. Alexopoulou, E.; Christou, M.; Eleftheriadis, I. [Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), Pikermi Attikis (Greece)

    2008-07-01

    As different sectors - food, feed, fiber, and fuels - compete for land, the yielding potential of the future non-food crops has to be as efficient as possible in order to minimize the competition for land. The main objective of 4F CROPS project is to survey and analyze all the parameters that will play an important role in successful non-food cropping systems in the agriculture of EU27 alongside the existing food crop systems. The work will start with the prediction of the future land use in short term (2020) and long term (2030), taking under consideration restrict factors for agriculture and the market demand for non-food crops. The cropping possibilities based on regional potential levels, ecology and climate will be determined. This group of non-food crops will be then subjected to a comparative cost analysis with conventional crops for the same time framework. Socio-economic impacts, like farmers' income, rural development, public development, and public acceptance will analyze. Then environmental implications will be assessed compared to their respective conventional products (fossil energy, conversional materials). Several environmental impacts will be assessed like soil quality and soil erosion, air quality and climate change, water issues, biodiversity and landscape by using LCA and EIE methods. The regulatory framework of the non-food crops will be considered including existing policies, co-existence and safety measures when the crops used for both food and non-food crops. All the collected information will be used for the formation of scenarios for successful non-food cropping alongside food cropping systems answering whether a completive bioeconomy is a viable option for EU27.

  5. Effect of crop rotations and fertilization on energy balance in typical production systems on the Canadian Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zentner, R.P.; Stumborg, M.A.; Campbell, C.A.

    1989-03-01

    Non-renewable energy inputs (both direct and indirect), metabolizable energy output and energy efficiency of 10 spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotations were examined over 18 years on a loam soil in the Brown soil zone of the Canadian Prairies. The rotations, which were managed using conventional tillage, included a range of crops, cropping intensities, crop sequences and fertilizer practices. Results showed that the total energy input per unit of land was lowest for the traditional fallow-wheat (F-W) rotation (3482 MJ ha/sup -1/), intermediate (4470 MJ ha/sup -1/) for N- and P-fertilized fallow-wheat-wheat (F-W-W) and highest for N- and P-fertilized continuous wheat (7100 MJ ha/sup -1/). Substituting flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) or rye (Secale cereale L.) for wheat in the rotations reduced total energy input by 3 to 8%, while withholding the application of either N or P fertilizer reduced total energy input by 16-37%. Liquid fuel for field operations and local product transport, and fertilizer (primarily N) were the major energy inputs; both increased with cropping intensity. Fuel accounted for 30-50% of the total energy input of the rotations. Fertilizer represented 15-49% of the total energy input and was more important than fuel for the continuous crop rotations. Despite the high energy content in pesticides, they accounted for only 4-11% of the total energy input of the rotations. Metabolizable energy output displayed similar response patterns as total energy input reflecting the higher total annual grain yields as cropping intensity increased. The average energy output to input ratio for F-W was 3.6, or 262 kg of wheat GJ/sup -1/ of energy input, while those for F-W-W and continuous wheat were 3.3 and 2.6, or 240 and 191 kg of wheat GJ/sup -1/ of energy input, respectively. Rotations that included flax or cereal forage crops had the lowest energy efficiencies. 2 figs., 31 refs., 4 tabs.

  6. Barriers to and drivers of the adpotion of energy crops by Swedish farmers: An empirical approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jonsson, Anna C.; Ostwald, Madelene; Asplund, Therese; Wibeck, Victoria (Linkoeping Univ., Linkoeping (Sweden). The Tema Inst., Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research)

    2011-06-15

    Since the Swedish government and the EU intend to encourage farmers to expand energy crop production, knowledge of the factors motivating adoption decisions is vital to policy success. Earlier studies have demonstrated that important barriers to farmer adoption of energy crops include converting from annual to perennial crops and from traditional crops or production systems to new ones. Economic motivations for changing production systems are strong, but factors such as values (e.g., aesthetics), knowledge (e.g., habits and knowledge of production methods), and legal conditions (e.g., cultivation licenses) are crucial for the change to energy crops. This paper helps fill gaps in the literature regarding why farmers decide to keep or change a production system. Based on a series of focus group interviews with Swedish farmers, the paper explores how farmers frame crop change decisions and what factors they consider most important. The main drivers of and barriers to growing energy crops, according to interviewees, are grouped and discussed in relation to four broad groups of motivational factors identified in the literature, i.e., values, legal conditions, knowledge, and economic factors. The paper ends by discussing whether some barriers could be overcome by policy changes at the national and European levels

  7. Assessment of energy crops alternative to maize for biogas production in the Greater Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Frédéric; Gerin, Patrick A; Noo, Anaïs; Lemaigre, Sébastien; Stilmant, Didier; Schmit, Thomas; Leclech, Nathael; Ruelle, Luc; Gennen, Jerome; von Francken-Welz, Herbert; Foucart, Guy; Flammang, Jos; Weyland, Marc; Delfosse, Philippe

    2014-08-01

    The biomethane yield of various energy crops, selected among potential alternatives to maize in the Greater Region, was assessed. The biomass yield, the volatile solids (VS) content and the biochemical methane potential (BMP) were measured to calculate the biomethane yield per hectare of all plant species. For all species, the dry matter biomass yield and the VS content were the main factors that influence, respectively, the biomethane yield and the BMP. Both values were predicted with good accuracy by linear regressions using the biomass yield and the VS as independent variable. The perennial crop miscanthus appeared to be the most promising alternative to maize when harvested as green matter in autumn and ensiled. Miscanthus reached a biomethane yield of 5.5 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) during the second year after the establishment, as compared to 5.3 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) for maize under similar crop conditions. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Computing energy budget within a crop canopy from Penmann's ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan, Krishtel eMaging Solutions

    Computing energy budget within a crop canopy from. Penmann's formulae. Mahendra Mohan∗ and K K Srivastava∗∗. ∗Radio and Atmospheric Science Division, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi 110012, India. ∗∗Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

  9. 2. symposium energy crops 2009; 2. Symposium Energiepflanzen 2009

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2010-07-27

    Within the meeting '2nd Symposium energy plants 2009', held at 17th to 18th November, 2009, in Berlin (Federal Republic of Germany), the following lectures were held: (1) The bio energy policy of the Federal Government in the area of attention between climatic protection, ecology and economy (Ilse Aigner); (2) Chances and threatens of cultivation of energy plants for a sustainable energy supply (Alois Heissenhuber); (3) Certification as a prerequisite of the global exploration of bio energy (Andreas Feige); (4) A project support in the field of cultivation of energy plants, a review (Andreas Schuette); (5) Results from the investigation of the crop rotation in the EVA network (Armin Vater); (6) Optimisation of the cultivation technology of sorghum millets (Christian Roehricht); (7) The two-culture utilization system - a comparison between ecologic and conventional cultivation (Reinhold Stuelpnagel); (8) Crop rotation with energy plants - Chances and threatens for the plant protection (Baerbel Gerowitt); (9) Efficiency of utilization of water for energy plants (Siegfried Schittenhelm); (10) Utilization of arable food grasses and permanent grassland as a substrate for biogas (Matthias Benke); (11) Economical evaluation of plant fermentation substrates (Dominik Reus); (12) Energy plants as a challenge for the agricultural engineering (Heiner Bruening); (13) Influence of the design of cultivation on the subsequent effects of the cultivation of energy plants (Michael Glemnitz); (14) Energy plants and waters protection - Key aspects and possible options of action (Heike Nitsch); (15) Neophytes as energy plants - Chances and threatens (Werner Kuhn); (16) Manifold in te landscape - extensive cultivation systems with renewable raw materials as an option for nature protection? (Peer Heck); (17) Ecologic aspects of agro forestry systems (Holger Gruenewald); (18) Enhancement of the potential of energy yield of winter wheat (Wolfgang Friedt); (19) Interspersed silphie

  10. Heavy metals in trees and energy crops - a literature review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnsson, Lars

    1995-12-01

    This literature review deals with the use of energy crops for cleaning of soils from heavy metals. It also deals with the use of low accumulating energy crops to be used on strongly contaminated soils where a low uptake of heavy metals is preferred, for example on mining deposits. In addition to the efforts to reduce the sources for heavy metal contamination of soils (for example commercial fertilizers and atmospheric deposition) the uptake and removal of heavy metals from the soils by the use of energy crops have recently been discussed as a method for cleaning of soils. Species from the Salix family (willow) have a greater potential for accumulating heavy metals than cereals which makes them interesting for this purpose. The Salix family consists of species with a great genetic variation. This will probably make it possible to find or develop clones with different characteristics suitable for cleaning of contaminated soils as well as for plant covering of soils that are extremely contaminated by heavy metals. In the former case an accumulation of heavy metals in the harvested parts, the shoots, is preferred. In the later case clones that do not accumulate heavy metals and maybe also clones with only root accumulation are preferred. There are also Salix clones with a specific accumulation of heavy metals which makes it possible to clean soils from a toxic metal and at the same time avoid the risk for deficiency of essential metals, for example Zn. The greatest potential to clean soils by the use of energy crops, is when the contamination levels in the soils are low, the areas to clean are large and when the time needed for cleaning is of minor importance. The most suitable soils are those where the metal contamination is located in the top soil layer and where the heavy metal concentrations in the sub soil layer are still low. 58 refs, 8 tabs, 1 fig

  11. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  12. Greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation of energy crops may affect the sustainability of biofuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Mette Sustmann; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Heiske, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    will be lower than indicated by our data. We obtained the greatest net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by co-production of bioethanol and biogas or by biogas alone produced from either fresh grass-clover or whole crop maize. Here the net reduction corresponded to about 8 tons CO2 per hectare per year...... or incorporation of crop residues. In this study we relate measured field emissions of N2O to the reduction in fossil fuel-derived CO2, which is obtained when energy crops are used for biofuel production. The analysis includes five organically managed crops (viz. maize, rye, rye-vetch, vetch and grass......-clover) and three scenarios for conversion of biomass to biofuel. The scenarios are 1) bioethanol production, 2) biogas production and 3) co-production of bioethanol and biogas, where the energy crops are first used for bioethanol fermentation and subsequently the residues from this process are utilized for biogas...

  13. Genetic Engineering of Energy Crops to Reduce Recalcitrance and Enhance Biomass Digestibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Yadav

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Bioenergy, biofuels, and a range of valuable chemicals may be extracted from the abundantly available lignocellulosic biomass. To reduce the recalcitrance imposed by the complex cell wall structure, genetic engineering has been proposed over the years as a suitable solution to modify the genes, thereby, controlling the overall phenotypic expression. The present review provides a brief description of the plant cell wall structure and its compositional array i.e., lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, wall proteins, and pectin, along with their effect on biomass digestibility. Also, this review discusses the potential to increase biomass by gene modification. Furthermore, the review highlights the potential genes associated with the regulation of cell wall structure, which can be targeted for achieving energy crops with desired phenotypes. These genetic approaches provide a robust and assured method to bring about the desired modifications in cell wall structure, composition, and characteristics. Ultimately, these genetic modifications pave the way for achieving enhanced biomass yield and enzymatic digestibility of energy crops, which is crucial for maximizing the outcomes of energy crop breeding and biorefinery applications.

  14. Organic versus Conventional Cropping Sustainability: A Comparative System Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany L. Fess

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We are at a pivotal time in human history, as the agricultural sector undergoes consolidation coupled with increasing energy costs in the context of declining resource availability. Although organic systems are often thought of as more sustainable than conventional operations, the lack of concise and widely accepted means to measure sustainability makes coming to an agreement on this issue quite challenging. However, an accurate assessment of sustainability can be reached by dissecting the scientific underpinnings of opposing production practices and crop output between cropping systems. The purpose of this review is to provide an in-depth and comprehensive evaluation of modern global production practices and economics of organic cropping systems, as well as assess the sustainability of organic production practices through the clarification of information and analysis of recent research. Additionally, this review addresses areas where improvements can be made to help meet the needs of future organic producers, including organic-focused breeding programs and necessity of coming to a unified global stance on plant breeding technologies. By identifying management strategies that utilize practices with long-term environmental and resource efficiencies, a concerted global effort could guide the adoption of organic agriculture as a sustainable food production system.

  15. Prospects for dedicated energy crop production and attitudes towards agricultural straw use: The case of livestock farmers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, P.; Glithero, N.J.; Ramsden, S.J.

    2014-01-01

    Second generation biofuels utilising agricultural by-products (e.g. straw), or dedicated energy crops (DECs) produced on ‘marginal’ land, have been called for. A structured telephone survey of 263 livestock farmers, predominantly located in the west or ‘marginal’ upland areas of England captured data on attitudes towards straw use and DECs. Combined with farm physical and business data, the survey results show that 7.2% and 6.3% of farmers would respectively consider growing SRC and miscanthus, producing respective maximum potential English crop areas of 54,603 ha and 43,859 ha. If higher market prices for straw occurred, most livestock farmers would continue to buy straw. Reasons for not being willing to consider growing DECs include concerns over land quality, committing land for a long time period, lack of appropriate machinery, profitability, and time to financial return; a range of moral, land quality, production conflict and lack of crop knowledge factors were also cited. Results demonstrate limited potential for the production of DECs on livestock farms in England. Changes in policy support to address farmer concerns with respect to DECs will be required to incentivise farmers to increase energy crop production. Policy support for DEC production must be cognisant of farm-level economic, tenancy and personal objectives. - Highlights: • Survey of English livestock farms determining attitudes to dedicated energy crops. • 6.3% to 7.2% of surveyed farmers would consider growing energy crops. • Limited potential for dedicated energy crops on livestock farms in England. • Livestock farmers would continue to buy straw, even at higher market prices. • Wide range of reasons given for farmers’ decisions related to energy crops

  16. Cultivation of energy crops. Environmental impacts, competitive utilization and potentials; Anbau von Energiepflanzen. Umweltauswirkungen, Nutzungskonkurrenzen und Potenziale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muehlenhoff, Joerg

    2013-04-15

    This background paper under consideration reports on the utilization of energy crops with regard to energy supply and climate change. Energy crops are renewable plants which are grown only for energy utilization. The harvested biomass is prepared for the power supply, heat supply and fuel supply by means of different usage paths.

  17. Energy crops for biogas plants. Lower Saxony; Energiepflanzen fuer Biogasanlagen. Niedersachsen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aurbacher, J.; Benke, M.; Formowitz, B. (and others)

    2012-06-15

    In the brochure under consideration the Agency for Renewable Resources (Guelzow-Pruezen, Federal Republic of Germany) reports on the support of the implementation of different plant cultures in structure of plantations and crop rotation systems of companies under consideration of the Federal State Lower Saxony. The main chapters of this brochure are: Crops for the production of biogas; implementation in plantations; ensilage and biogas yields; economy of the cultivation of energy plants.

  18. Growth and energy yield when cultivating various energy crops on farming soil. Tillvaext och energiutbyte vid odling av olika energigroedor paa jordbruksmark

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thoerner, L.

    1988-03-01

    In four fields in the south of Sweden different energy crops were tested. In all trials sugar beet, barley, alfalfa, corn, sunflower and quickgrowing species of Salix (energy forest) were grown. In some of the trials broome-grass, potatoes and winter wheat were tested. One trial also included marrow-stem kale, Jerusalem artichoke and a hybride of J artichoke and sunflower. The purpose of the experiment was to illustrate the effect of increasing N-fertilizing and the effect of growing the crops in different climatic conditions. The yield varies between the crops. Some of the crops were harvested in different stages of development. The largest yields were noticed for sugar beet, corn, potatoes and energy forest. For these crops the yield was 11.5-14.5 tons of dry matter per hectare. The yield of potatoes was very large but it is figures for only one place with very good conditions. Barley, sunflower and alfalfa produced 8-10 tons of dry matter per hectare. The smaller yield depends on a short vegetation season for these crops. The year of establishment the energy forest produced about four tons of dry matter in the form of stem wood. When fully established the production has been 12-15 tons of dry matter per hectare and annum. The analysis of plant material indicates small divergences in the content of carbon and heat value.

  19. Energy efficiency for establishment and management of cover crops; Eficiencia energetica na implantacao e manejo de plantas de cobertura do solo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siqueira, R.; Gamero, C.A.; Boller, W.

    2000-07-01

    An experiment was conducted in Botucatu, SP, Brazil to evaluate the energy balance involved in the establishment and management of cover crops and also to determine specific heating seeds and biomass of different species of cover crops. Black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb), forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. oleiferus Metzg) and lupinus (Lupinus angustifolius L.) were grown in a randomized block design, in twelve replicates. Oat showed higher energy production as compared to lupinus, while higher specific heat were determined for forage radish seeds and also for lupinus and oat biomass. While fuel and fertilizers were the most important energy inputs for the establishment and management of oat and forage radish, seeds and fuel were the most used energy input for lupinus. (author)

  20. Development of a standard methodology for integrating non-food crop production in rural areas with niche energy markets. Proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-09-01

    This project was supported as a Concerted Action under the EC DGVI AIR programme from 1993-1996. It has successfully developed a standard methodology to help integrate non-food crop production in rural areas with niche energy markets. The methodology was used to compare the costs of different energy crop production and conversion options across the six participating nations. The partners provide a representative cross-section of European agriculture and energy expertise. All partners agreed on three niche markets favourable for biomass and biofuels: small-scale heat markets (less than 1 MW th ) for agro-industry, domestic and commercial buildings, medium-scale heat markets (1-10MW th ), including cogeneration for light industry and district heating, and liquid biofuels as substitutes for fossil fuels in transport, heat and power applications. (Author)

  1. Socio-economic evaluation of energy crops as a means for a better environment; Samfundsoekonomisk vurdering af energiafgroeder som virkemiddel for et bedre miljoe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacobsen, Brian H.; Dubgaard, A.

    2012-10-15

    The purpose of the economic analysis is to describe the economy by growing willow compared to alternative rotations in order to assess whether there would be an economic interest, to grow willow on selected soil types. The goal of the socio-economic analysis is to assess whether the price to reduce N leaching or emissions of greenhouse gases is cost-effective compared to other instruments. The analysis shows that it is economically attractive to grow energy crops on moist marginal soils (+1.800 Kr. / hectare / year) and in some cases also on sandy soil (600 kr. / hectare / year). A low grain prices will make energy crops attractive to all soil types, while a high grain prices would mean that it is only economically viable on marginal soils. There is some uncertainty about yields and prices for energy crops. Generally, a decrease in yield of two tonnes per year per hectare means a reduction in the contribution margin of almost 1,200 Kr. per hectare. Conversely, an increase in price from 42 to 45 Kr. per GJ will mean an increase in the contribution margin of DKK 400 per hectare. The welfare economic analyses show that there are negative costs (= gain) associated with energy crops, both in relation to the reduction of greenhouse gases and compared to N leaching from agricultural land. The assessment also includes the effect of reduced ammonia volatilization. It is estimated that willow cultivation reduces pesticide use calculated as the frequency of treatment of 50-97% and the load index of 19-89% compared to cereals cultivation. There is therefore a significant reduction of pesticide use. Compared to the cost of alternative measures, 23 DKK. per. kg N or 140 DKK per. tonnes of CO{sub 2}, it is therefore a cost-effective instrument under specified conditions. (LN)

  2. Energy productivity of some plantation crops in Malaysia and the status of bioenergy utilisation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lim, K.O.; Zainal Alimuddin Zainal Alauddin; Ghulam Abdul Quadir; Mohd Zulkifly Abdullah

    2000-01-01

    The paper assesses the energy productivity of the major plantation crops in Malaysia as well as the status of bioenergy utilisation in that country. Of the crops studied and under present local cultivation practices, oil palms and cocoa trees stand out as good trappers of solar energy while paddy plants are the least efficient. Presently, Malaysia consumes roughly 340 million boe of energy per year. Of this amount 14% are contributed by biomass. However of the total amount of biowastes generated in the country roughly 24.5% are already utilised for energy purposes and roughly 75.5% are still unutilised and therefore wasted. (Author)

  3. Plant production, production energy, energy crops - approaches toward intelligent use of energy crops in bioenergy systems; Pflanzenproduktion, Produktionsenergie, Energiepflanzen - Ansaetze intelligenter Energiepflanzennutzung in Bioenergie-Anlagen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scheibler, M. [ENTEC Environment Technology Umwelttechnik GmbH, Fussach (Austria); Priedl, J.

    2002-12-01

    Food surplus production in the European Union should be replaced by biomass plantation for biogas production. The choice of energy plants like sunflowers or triticale and the harvesting time depends on soils, microclimates and crop rotation. The authors present a consultance package for planning, construction and operation of a Complete Stirred Reactor for biomass fermentation. Investment and operating cost depend on plant size and degree of automation. (uke)

  4. Woody biomass from short rotation energy crops. Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.S., Jr. Zalesny Jr.; M.W. Cunningham; R.B. Hall; J. Mirck; D.L. Rockwood; J.A. Stanturf; T.A. Volk

    2011-01-01

    Short rotation woody crops (SRWCs) are ideal for woody biomass production and management systems because they are renewable energy feedstocks for biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts that can be strategically placed in the landscape to conserve soil and water, recycle nutrients, and sequester carbon. This chapter is a synthesis of the regional implications of producing...

  5. Options for achieving the target of 45 MTOE from energy cropping in the EU in 2010. Danish version

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-06-01

    Among the renewable, biomass is considered an attractive option for energy production for a number of fundamental agricultural, industrial and rural development reasons. During the last decade several types of goals and associated incentives have been set across Europe in order to enhance both the RandD of the technologies and the implementation of bioenergy schemes. In Denmark, Austria and Finland the bioenergy schemes have been proved successful, while in other EU regions, bioenergy schemes are now either beginning to be implemented or are slowly developed at small scale and pilot level. The main reasons for this slow progress are: Lack in security of supply; Non-uniform and bulky material in the form of residues and wastes; Inadequate interrelation between the agricultural and energy policies; Inefficient way of approaching the main target groups involved in the bioenergy business. Scientists and policy makers remain sceptical whether the favourable technical potential of these crops will actually serve as feedstock in already operating or newly planned bioenergy schemes. Due to the role of energy in almost all walks of life, EU policies in this area have to be considered within a wider context extending to climate change, waste disposal, agriculture, air and water policy. The report states the following recommendations: Define niche markets for energy crops per type of fuel produced; Link current residue exploitation to mainstream biomass developments; Transfer of knowledge on growing energy crops to the 10 new countries; Define the role that energy crops trade could play. The absence of any policy to encourage energy crops represents one of the main limits to their dissemination. Energy crops incentive policies are actually constrained by CAP requirements and thus heavily affected by the limits of EU agricultural policy and partly by its rural policy which is biased in favour of restricting arable land characterized by production surpluses. The promotion of

  6. Miscanthus: A Review of European Experience with a Novel Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scurlock, J.M.O.

    1999-02-01

    Miscanthus is a tall perennial grass which has been evaluated in Europe over the past 5-10 years as a new bioenergy crop. The sustained European interest in miscanthus suggests that this novel energy crop deserves serious investigation as a possible candidate biofuel crop for the US alongside switchgrass. To date, no agronomic trials or trial results for miscanthus are known from the conterminous US, so its performance under US conditions is virtually unknown. Speculating from European data, under typical agricultural practices over large areas, an average of about 8t/ha (3t/acre dry weight) may be expected at harvest time. As with most of the new bioenergy crops, there seems to be a steep ''learning curve.'' Establishment costs appear to be fairly high at present (a wide range is reported from different European countries), although these may be expected to fall as improved management techniques are developed.

  7. REMOTE SENSING AND SURFACE ENERGY FLUX MODELS TO DERIVE EVAPOTRANSPIRATION AND CROP COEFFICIENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Barbagallo

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing techniques using high resolution satellite images provide opportunities to evaluate daily crop water use and its spatial and temporal distribution on a field by field basis. Mapping this indicator with pixels of few meters of size on extend areas allows to characterize different processes and parameters. Satellite data on vegetation reflectance, integrated with in field measurements of canopy coverage features and the monitoring of energy fluxes through the soil-plant-atmosphere system, allow to estimate conventional irrigation components (ET, Kc thus improving irrigation strategies. In the study, satellite potential evapotranspiration (ETp and crop coefficient (Kc maps of orange orchards are derived using semi-empirical approaches between reflectance data from IKONOS imagery and ground measurements of vegetation features. The monitoring of energy fluxes through the orchard allows to estimate actual crop evapotranspiration (ETa using energy balance and the Surface Renewal theory. The approach indicates substantial promise as an efficient, accurate and relatively inexpensive procedure to predict actual ET fluxes and Kc from irrigated lands.

  8. Do cover crop mixtures have the same ability to suppress weeds as competitive monoculture cover crops?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brust, Jochen

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available An increasing number of farmers use cover crop mixtures instead of monoculture cover crops to improve soil and crop quality. However, only little information is available about the weed suppression ability of cover crop mixtures. Therefore, two field experiments were conducted in Baden-Württemberg between 2010 and 2012, to compare growth and weed suppression of monoculture cover crops and cover crop mixtures. In the first experiment, heterogeneous results between yellow mustard and the cover crop mixture occurred. For further research, a field experiment was conducted in 2012 to compare monocultures of yellow mustard and hemp with three cover crop mixtures. The evaluated mixtures were: “MELO”: for soil melioration; “BETA”: includes only plant species with no close relation to main cash crops in Central Europe and “GPS”: for usage as energy substrate in spring. Yellow mustard, MELO, BETA and GPS covered 90% of the soil in less than 42 days and were able to reduce photosynthetically active radiation (PAR on soil surface by more than 96% after 52 days. Hemp covered 90% of the soil after 47 days and reduced PAR by 91% after 52 days. Eight weeks after planting, only BETA showed similar growth to yellow mustard which produced the highest dry matter. The GPS mixture had comparatively poor growth, while MELO produced similar dry matter to hemp. Yellow mustard, MELO and BETA reduced weed growth by 96% compared with a no cover crop control, while hemp and GPS reduced weeds by 85% and 79%. In spring, weed dry matter was reduced by more than 94% in plots with yellow mustard and all mixtures, while in hemp plots weeds were only reduced by 71%. The results suggest that the tested cover crop mixtures offer similar weed suppression ability until spring as the monoculture of the competitive yellow mustard.

  9. Cassava as an energy crop

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Søren Bech Pilgaard; Birch-Thomsen, Torben; Rasmussen, Kjeld

    2014-01-01

    of the Attieké cassava variety. Little competition with food crops is likely, as cassava most likely would replace cotton as primary cash crop, following the decline of cotton production since 2005 and hence food security concerns appear not to be an issue. Stated price levels to motivate an expansion of cassava...

  10. Modeling surface energy fluxes from a patchwork of fields with different soils and crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Christian; Thieme, Christoph; Heinlein, Florian; Priesack, Eckart

    2017-04-01

    Agroecosystems are a dominant terrestrial land-use on planet earth and cover about 36% of the ice-free surface (12% pasture, 26% agriculture) [Foley2011]. Within this land use type, management practices vary strongly due to climate, cultural preferences, degree of industrialization, soil properties, crop rotations, field sizes, degree of land use sustainability, water availability, sowing and harvest dates, tillage, etc. These management practices influence abiotic environmental factors like water flow and heat transport within the ecosystem leading to changes of land surface fluxes. The relevance of vegetation (e.g. crops), ground cover, and soil properties to the moisture and energy exchanges between the land surface and the atmosphere is well known [McPherson 2007], but the impact of vegetation growth dynamics on energy fluxes is only partly understood [Gayler et al. 2014]. Thus, the structure of turbulence and the albedo evolve during the cropping period and large variations of heat can be measured on the field scale [Aubinet2012]. One issue of local distributed mixture of different land use is the measurement process which makes it challenging to evaluate simulations. Unfortunately, for meteorological flux-measurements like the Flux-Gradient or the Eddy Covariance (EC) method, comparability with simulations only exists in the ideal case, where fields have to be completely uniform in land use and flat within the reach of the footprint. Then a model with one specific land use would have the same underlying source area as the measurement. An elegant method to avoid the shortcoming of grid cell resolution is the so called mixed approach, which was recently implemented into the ecosystem model framework Expert-N [Biernath et al. 2013]. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of the characteristics of five managed field plots, planted with winter wheat, potato and maize on the near surface soil moistures and on the near surface energy flux exchanges of the

  11. The potential of intercropping food crops and energy crop to improve productivity of a degraded agriculture land in arid tropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.K.D. Jaya

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Degraded agricultural lands in the arid tropics have low soil organic carbon (SOC and hence low productivity. Poor farmers that their livelihoods depend highly on these types of lands are suffering. Cropping strategies that are able to improve the soil productivity are needed. In the present study, some intercropping models of food crops with bio-energy crop of castor (Ricinus communis L. were tested to assess their potential to improve the degraded land productivity. The intercropping models were: (1 castor - hybrid maize, (2 castor – short season maize, (3 castor – mungbean, and (4 castor –short season maize – mungbean. The results show that yields of the component crops in monoculture were relatively the same as in intercropping, resulted in a high Land Equivalent Ratio (LER. The highest LER (3.07 was calculated from intercropping castor plants with short season maize crops followed by mungbean with intercropping productivity of IDR 15,097,600.00 ha-1. Intercropping has a great potential to improve degraded agriculture land productivity and castor is a promising plant to improve biodiversity and area coverage on the land.

  12. Food and nutritional security requires adequate protein as well as energy, delivered from whole-year crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coles, Graeme D; Wratten, Stephen D; Porter, John R

    2016-01-01

    Human food security requires the production of sufficient quantities of both high-quality protein and dietary energy. In a series of case-studies from New Zealand, we show that while production of food ingredients from crops on arable land can meet human dietary energy requirements effectively, requirements for high-quality protein are met more efficiently by animal production from such land. We present a model that can be used to assess dietary energy and quality-corrected protein production from various crop and crop/animal production systems, and demonstrate its utility. We extend our analysis with an accompanying economic analysis of commercially-available, pre-prepared or simply-cooked foods that can be produced from our case-study crop and animal products. We calculate the per-person, per-day cost of both quality-corrected protein and dietary energy as provided in the processed foods. We conclude that mixed dairy/cropping systems provide the greatest quantity of high-quality protein per unit price to the consumer, have the highest food energy production and can support the dietary requirements of the highest number of people, when assessed as all-year-round production systems. Global food and nutritional security will largely be an outcome of national or regional agroeconomies addressing their own food needs. We hope that our model will be used for similar analyses of food production systems in other countries, agroecological zones and economies.

  13. Measuring Evapotranspiration of five Alley Cropping systems in Germany using the Eddy-Covariance- and Bowen-Ratio Energy-Balance methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markwitz, Christian; Knohl, Alexander; Siebicke, Lukas

    2017-04-01

    The inclusion of trees into the agricultural landscape of Europe is gaining popularity as a source for energy production. Fast growing tree species such as poplar or willow are included as short rotation coppice or alley cropping systems, which consist of tree alleys interleaved by annual rotating crops or perennial grasslands. Estimating turbulent fluxes of those systems using the eddy-covariance- (ECEB) and bowen-ratio energy-balance (BREB) method is challenging due to the methods limitation to horizontally homogeneous terrain and steady state conditions. As the conditions are not fulfilled for those systems the energy-balance is commonly not fully closed, with the non-closure being site specific. An underestimation of measured heat fluxes leads to an overestimation of the latent heat fluxes inferred from the ECEB method. The aim of our study is to 1) quantify the site specific non-closure of the energy-balance and 2) characterize the performance of both methods, compared to direct eddy-covariance measurements using a high frequency infra-red gas analyzer (LI-7200, Licor Inc.). To assess continuous evapotranspiration (ET) rates on a 30-minute time scale we installed a combined ECEB and BREB system at five alley cropping and five agricultural reference sites across Germany. For time periods of four weeks we performed direct eddy covariance flux measurements for H2O and CO2 over one crop- and one grassland alley cropping- and their respective reference systems during the growing season of 2016. We found a non-closure between 21 and 26 % for all sites, considering all day- and night-time data. The residual energy was highest during the morning and lowest in the afternoon. Related to that the energy-balance ratio (EBR), i.e. the ratio between the turbulent heat fluxes and available energy, was below one in the morning hours and increased slightly during the day up to 1.8, until the EBR decreased sharply after sunset. The EBR correlated to the daily cycle of solar

  14. Low Energy Technology. A Unit of Instruction on Energy Conservation in Field Crop Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, George; Scanlon, Dennis C.

    This unit of instruction on energy conservation in field crop production was designed for use by agribusiness and natural resources teachers in Florida high schools and by agricultural extension agents as they work with adults and students. It is one of a series of 11 instructional units (see note) written to help teachers and agents to educate…

  15. PHA bioplastics, biochemicals, and energy from crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somleva, Maria N; Peoples, Oliver P; Snell, Kristi D

    2013-02-01

    Large scale production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in plants can provide a sustainable supply of bioplastics, biochemicals, and energy from sunlight and atmospheric CO(2). PHAs are a class of polymers with various chain lengths that are naturally produced by some microorganisms as storage materials. The properties of these polyesters make them functionally equivalent to many of the petroleum-based plastics that are currently in the market place. However, unlike most petroleum-derived plastics, PHAs can be produced from renewable feedstocks and easily degrade in most biologically active environments. This review highlights research efforts over the last 20 years to engineer the production of PHAs in plants with a focus on polyhydroxybutryrate (PHB) production in bioenergy crops with C(4) photosynthesis. PHB has the potential to be a high volume commercial product with uses not only in the plastics and materials markets, but also in renewable chemicals and feed. The major challenges of improving product yield and plant fitness in high biomass yielding C(4) crops are discussed in detail. Plant Biotechnology Journal © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Integration of non-food crops in rural areas with niche energy markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwant, K.W.; Heuval, E. van der; Rijk, P.J.J.

    1996-01-01

    Integration of energy-crops in the agricultural sector is hampered by a number of factors. Within the EU AIR programme a concerted action has been initiated to contribute to a better understanding of the several aspects of introducing energy corps in the rural sector. A standard methodology to assess the economic and technical viability of energy crops for three identified niche markets was developed. Technical viability of biomass production, pretreatment and conversion to energy is a necessary condition for implementation of such a project, however, it is not a sufficient condition. Non-technical constraints can either hamper or stimulate a successful introduction. Technical issues will be dealt with in other papers. This paper will, therefore concentrate on the non-technical issues. In section 2 the major issues are described. Opportunities on how to improve biomass energy introduction are provided in section 3. As a case study, the non-technical issues of a combined heat and power plant, planned to be fired on arboricultural and short rotation willow, in the municipality of Groningen in the Netherlands will be presented. The paper ends with general conclusions. (Author)

  17. Evaluation of herbacceous biomass crops in the northern Great Plains. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, D.W.; Norby, W.E.; Erickson, D.O.; Johnson, R.G. [North Dakota State Univ., Fargo, ND (United States)

    1994-08-01

    Herbaceous lignocellulose crops are a potential renewable feedstock for biochemical conversion systems second in size to wood products. Several herbaceous crops are utilized as forage crops in the northern Great Plains, but forage quality considerations usually dictates a early harvest. Biomass cropping does not have this constraint; therefore, little information was available on herbaceous crops utilized as energy crops prior to this project. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the biomass yield and select chemical components of several herbaceous crops for energy crops in the northern Great Plains, compare the economic feasibility of energy crops with common competing crops, and evaluate biomass cropping on summer fallow lands. Three good, two marginal, and one irrigated sites were used during 1988 to 1992 for the first component. At least six perennial and four annual biomass species were included at all sites. Three to four nitrogen (N) levels and a crop-recrop comparison (annuals only) were management intensities included. Biomass cropping on idled lands was performed on dryland at Carrington and evaluated the effects of removing leguminous biomass on fallowed lands. This report summarizes results from the 5-year project.

  18. Methods to enhance hydrolysis during one and two-stage anaerobic digestion of energy crops and crop residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jagadabhi, P. S.

    2011-07-01

    The objective of this thesis was to evaluate methods to enhance hydrolysis (measured as specific SCOD production, g SCOD g-1 VS) during one and two-stage anaerobic digestion (AD) of energy crops and crop residues. Addition of macro (NH{sub 4}Cl), micro nutrients (Fe, Ni, Co and Mo) and leachate replacement during mono-digestion of grass silage in one-stage leach bed reactors (LBRs) enhanced hydrolysis by 18 % (0.56 g SCOD g-1 VS), 7 % (0.45 g SCOD g-1 VS) and 34 % (0.51 g SCOD g-1 VS) respectively compared to respective controls. On the other hand, creating micro-aerobic conditions (at 1 l min-1, 2.5 l of air) did not improve hydrolysis but enhanced VFA production by 4 fold (from 2.2 g l-1 to 9 g l-1). Application of rumen cultures improved hydrolysis by 10 % (0.33 g SCOD g-1 VS) more than control (0.30 g SCOD g-1 VS). Similarly, during two-stage AD in LBR-UASB reactor configuration leachate replacement enhanced hydrolysis in cucumber and grass silage (0.5 g SCOD g-1 VS) than in tomato and common reed (0.35 and 0.15 g SCOD g-1 VS respectively). During co-digestion of grass silage and cow manure at a ratio of 30:70 (VS) in CSTR, re-circulation of alkali treated solid fraction of digestate did not improve the anaerobic biodegradation rates or methane yields. Results from batch experiments showed that methane potential of grass silage varied from 0.28-0.39 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added} in all the experiments. On the other hand, methane potentials of the studied crop residues were 0.32 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added} for tomato and 0.26 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added} for cucumber and common reed. Alkali pretreatment of solids, obtained from digestate (during co-digestion of grass silage and cow manure in one-stage CSTRs), at a low concentration of 20 g NaOH kg-1 VS resulted in higher methane yield (0.34 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added}) than the other tested dosages (40 and 60 g NaOH kg-1 VS). Addition of macro nutrient (NH{sub 4}Cl) enhanced methane potential of

  19. The Possibilities to use Euphorbia Tirucalli as an Energy and a Rubber Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Van Damme

    1990-02-01

    Full Text Available Euphorbia tirucalli has been used as a source for natural rubber at different times in history, especially in southern Africa. The latex resin content is too high to guarantee a good quality product and economic production has never taken off as some had hoped. The fact that the plant is very well adapted to arid and semi arid conditions and can be grown on marginal waste lands makes it a potential energy crop which can be turned into biogas without too much investment in costly technology. The first results obtained in the laboratory and in field conditions (Senegal are very promising. The latex contains a number of interesting triterpenes which have a very high energy content and could be used in fuel production. Most of these applications have been tested or used in Africa and can offer long-term solutions for old problems, particularly in the case of renewable energy through biomass fermentation. KEY WORDS: rubber, biomass, biogas, triterpenes, energy crop

  20. Analysis of the impact of energy crops on water quality. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hatfield, J.L.; Gale, W.J.

    1993-01-01

    This report consists of two separate papers. The first, ''The potential use of agricultural simulation models in predicting the fate of nitrogen and pesticides applied to switchgrass and poplars,'' describes three models (CREAMS, GLEAMS, and EPIC) for the evaluation of the relationships which determine water quality in the agroecosystem. Case studies are presented which demonstrate the utility of these models in evaluating the potential impact of alternative crop management practices. The second paper, ''Energy crops as part of a sustainable landscape,'' discusses concepts of landscape management and the linkage among agricultural practices and environmental quality

  1. Quantitative modeling of the Water Footprint and Energy Content of Crop and Animal Products Consumption in Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    felichesmi Selestine lyakurwa

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive understanding of the link between water footprint and energy content of crop and animal products is vitally important for the sound management of water resources. In this study, we developed a mathematical relationship between water content, and energy content of many crops and animal products by using an improved LCA approach (water footprint. The standard values of the water and energy contents of crops and animal products were obtained from the databases of Agricultural Research Service, UNESCO Institute for water education and Food, and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The water footprint approach was applied to analyze the relationship between water requirement and energy of content of crop and animal products, in which the uncertainty and sensitivity was evaluated by Monte Carlo simulation technique that is contained in the Oracle Crystal Ball Fusion Edition v11.1.1.3.00. The results revealed significant water saving due to changes in food consumption pattern i.e. from consumption of more meat to vegetables. The production of 1kcal of crop and animal products requires about 98% of green, 4.8% blue water and 0.4% of gray water. In which changes in consumption pattern gave annual blue water saving of about 1605 Mm3 that is equivalent to 41.30m3/capita, extremely greater than the standard drinking water requirement for the whole population. Moreover, the projected results indicated, triple increase of dietary water requirement from 30.9 Mm3 in 2005 to 108 Mm3 by 2050. It was also inferred that, Tanzania has a positive virtual water balance of crop and animal products consumption with net virtual water import of 9.1 Mm3 that is the contribution margin to the water scarcity alleviation strategy. Therefore, developed relationship of water footprint and energy content of crops and animal products can be used by water resource experts for sustainable freshwater and food supply.

  2. Synthesis of Vaermeforsk's research programme 'Crops from field to energy'; Syntes av Vaermeforsks forskningsprogram 'Groedor fraan aaker till energi'

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bubholz, Monika; Forsberg, Maya; Gunnarsson, Carina; Roennbaeck, Marie; Olsson, Johanna

    2010-06-15

    instead of forest fuels have been investigated. Experience and knowledge concerning recycling of ash in the forestry sector has been identified and which may be applied in agriculture. Other topics - A calculation method has been made, which compares annual crops with perennial crops, which shows that Salix has good profitability (in SEK/hectare) and low production costs (in SEK/MWh) in comparison with other crops. The main obstacle for increasing the production and use of energy crops is that the cultivation is perceived to be unprofitable. To improve the competitiveness of energy crops, primarily in relation to wood chips, investment support should be given to farmers cultivating energy crops with high investment costs. Cooperation between farmers and energy users has been studied in the region of Vastra Gotaland in Sweden. Among the conclusions are that there needs to be profitability in all parts of the chain from field to energy plant, that structures for regional cooperation need to be modernized in order to increase the use of agricultural fuels in the plants. An inventory over agricultural fuel quantities available, possible farmers as well as areas for cultivation. Additional results are expected on important factors for increasing farmers interest in growing energy crops. Conclusions are drawn on realisation of the programmes aims. As a conclusion it can be stated that some projects have tackled problems and a broader set of aspects including the whole chain from field to plant, whereas some projects have contributed with parts, which together contribute to a better understanding. Most projects have given suggestions of solutions, but not tested them in reality, which gives rise to a need of more practical experiences in order to determine how problems may be solved in the best way and how obstacles for achieving a well functioning market can be removed. Remaining need of knowledge has been identified, as a result from projects as well as the workshop carried

  3. A Comparative Study on Satellite- and Model-Based Crop Phenology in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Vintrou

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Crop phenology is essential for evaluating crop production in the food insecure regions of West Africa. The aim of the paper is to study whether satellite observation of plant phenology are consistent with ground knowledge of crop cycles as expressed in agro-simulations. We used phenological variables from a MODIS Land Cover Dynamics (MCD12Q2 product and examined whether they reproduced the spatio-temporal variability of crop phenological stages in Southern Mali. Furthermore, a validated cereal crop growth model for this region, SARRA-H (System for Regional Analysis of Agro-Climatic Risks, provided precise agronomic information. Remotely-sensed green-up, maturity, senescence and dormancy MODIS dates were extracted for areas previously identified as crops and were compared with simulated leaf area indices (LAI temporal profiles generated using the SARRA-H crop model, which considered the main cropping practices. We studied both spatial (eight sites throughout South Mali during 2007 and temporal (two sites from 2002 to 2008 differences between simulated crop cycles and determined how the differences were indicated in satellite-derived phenometrics. The spatial comparison of the phenological indicator observations and simulations showed mainly that (i the satellite-derived start-of-season (SOS was detected approximately 30 days before the model-derived SOS; and (ii the satellite-derived end-of-season (EOS was typically detected 40 days after the model-derived EOS. Studying the inter-annual difference, we verified that the mean bias was globally consistent for different climatic conditions. Therefore, the land cover dynamics derived from the MODIS time series can reproduce the spatial and temporal variability of different start-of-season and end-of-season crop species. In particular, we recommend simultaneously using start-of-season phenometrics with crop models for yield forecasting to complement commonly used climate data and provide a better

  4. Energy sorghum--a genetic model for the design of C4 grass bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullet, John; Morishige, Daryl; McCormick, Ryan; Truong, Sandra; Hilley, Josie; McKinley, Brian; Anderson, Robert; Olson, Sara N; Rooney, William

    2014-07-01

    Sorghum is emerging as an excellent genetic model for the design of C4 grass bioenergy crops. Annual energy Sorghum hybrids also serve as a source of biomass for bioenergy production. Elucidation of Sorghum's flowering time gene regulatory network, and identification of complementary alleles for photoperiod sensitivity, enabled large-scale generation of energy Sorghum hybrids for testing and commercial use. Energy Sorghum hybrids with long vegetative growth phases were found to accumulate more than twice as much biomass as grain Sorghum, owing to extended growing seasons, greater light interception, and higher radiation use efficiency. High biomass yield, efficient nitrogen recycling, and preferential accumulation of stem biomass with low nitrogen content contributed to energy Sorghum's elevated nitrogen use efficiency. Sorghum's integrated genetics-genomics-breeding platform, diverse germplasm, and the opportunity for annual testing of new genetic designs in controlled environments and in multiple field locations is aiding fundamental discovery, and accelerating the improvement of biomass yield and optimization of composition for biofuels production. Recent advances in wide hybridization between Sorghum and other C4 grasses could allow the deployment of improved genetic designs of annual energy Sorghums in the form of wide-hybrid perennial crops. The current trajectory of energy Sorghum genetic improvement indicates that it will be possible to sustainably produce biofuels from C4 grass bioenergy crops that are cost competitive with petroleum-based transportation fuels. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. A one-layer satellite surface energy balance for estimating evapotranspiration rates and crop water stress indexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbagallo, Salvatore; Consoli, Simona; Russo, Alfonso

    2009-01-01

    Daily evapotranspiration fluxes over the semi-arid Catania Plain area (Eastern Sicily, Italy) were evaluated using remotely sensed data from Landsat Thematic Mapper TM5 images. A one-source parameterization of the surface sensible heat flux exchange using satellite surface temperature has been used. The transfer of sensible and latent heat is described by aerodynamic resistance and surface resistance. Required model inputs are brightness, temperature, fractional vegetation cover or leaf area index, albedo, crop height, roughness lengths, net radiation, air temperature, air humidity and wind speed. The aerodynamic resistance (r(ah)) is formulated on the basis of the Monin-Obukhov surface layer similarity theory and the surface resistance (r(s)) is evaluated from the energy balance equation. The instantaneous surface flux values were converted into evaporative fraction (EF) over the heterogeneous land surface to derive daily evapotranspiration values. Remote sensing-based assessments of crop water stress (CWSI) were also made in order to identify local irrigation requirements. Evapotranspiration data and crop coefficient values obtained from the approach were compared with: (i) data from the semi-empirical approach "K(c) reflectance-based", which integrates satellite data in the visible and NIR regions of the electromagnetic spectrum with ground-based measurements and (ii) surface energy flux measurements collected from a micrometeorological tower located in the experiment area. The expected variability associated with ET flux measurements suggests that the approach-derived surface fluxes were in acceptable agreement with the observations.

  6. Finnish farmers' willingness to produce and supply biomass from energy crops and forest residues. A survey of landowners' attitudes and intentions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raemoe, A.-K.; Latvala, T. (Pellervo Economic Research Inst., Helsinki (Finland)), Email: anna-kaisa.ramo@ptt.fi; Silvennoinen, H. (Univ. of Joensuu (Finland)), Email: harri.silvennoinen@joensuu.fi

    2009-07-01

    According to EU's Climate and Energy Plan Finland is obliged to increase the proportion of renewable energy sources considerably by the year 2020. The obligation is challenging and requires among others a considerably increased use of biomass. Besides wood energy crop production provides a considerable potential as energy source in Finland. Farmer forest owners are one of the key groups regarding the supply of field energy crops and energy wood in Finland. Basically, farmers have a positive attitude towards the production of field energy crops and energy wood. Their interest in bio-energy related entrepreneurship has also increased in recent years. However, farmers do not find the business environment of biomass production satisfactory. Still the results indicate that the number of field crop producers would at least double by the year 2012. The increase is, however, considerably less than the estimated potential of recent scenarios. The results also imply that famer forest owners have not any intentions to increase their energy wood supplies in the next few years. This is mainly due to undeveloped energy wood markets and unsatisfactory energy wood prices. In order to enhance the biomass production and supply, both field energy crop and energy wood markets and extension need to be improved to meet farmers' needs. (orig.)

  7. Modelling the carbon and nitrogen balances of direct land use changes from energy crops in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamelin, Lorie; Jørgensen, Uffe; Petersen, Bjørn Molt

    2012-01-01

    This paper addresses the conversion of Danish agricultural land from food/feed crops to energy crops. To this end, a life cycle inventory, which relates the input and output flows from and to the environment of 528 different crop systems, is built and described. This includes seven crops (annuals...... and perennials), two soil types (sandy loam and sand), two climate types (wet and dry), three initial soil carbon level (high, average, low), two time horizons for soil carbon changes (20 and 100 years), two residues management practices (removal and incorporation into soil) as well as three soil carbon turnover...... rate reductions in response to the absence of tillage for some perennial crops (0%, 25%, 50%). For all crop systems, nutrient balances, balances between above- and below-ground residues, soil carbon changes, biogenic carbon dioxide flows, emissions of nitrogen compounds and losses of macro...

  8. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, H.B.

    2008-01-01

    . The conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...

  9. Air-quality and Climatic Consequences of Bioenergy Crop Cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, William Christian

    Bioenergy is expected to play an increasingly significant role in the global energy budget. In addition to the use of liquid energy forms such as ethanol and biodiesel, electricity generation using processed energy crops as a partial or full coal alternative is expected to increase, requiring large-scale conversions of land for the cultivation of bioenergy feedstocks such as cane, grasses, or short rotation coppice. With land-use change identified as a major contributor to changes in the emission of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), many of which are known contributors to the pollutants ozone (O 3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), careful review of crop emission profiles and local atmospheric chemistry will be necessary to mitigate any unintended air-quality consequences. In this work, the atmospheric consequences of bioenergy crop replacement are examined using both the high-resolution regional chemical transport model WRF/Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry) and the global climate model CESM (Community Earth System Model). Regional sensitivities to several representative crop types are analyzed, and the impacts of each crop on air quality and climate are compared. Overall, the high emitting crops (eucalyptus and giant reed) were found to produce climate and human health costs totaling up to 40% of the value of CO 2 emissions prevented, while the related costs of the lowest-emitting crop (switchgrass) were negligible.

  10. Linyphiid spider populations in sustainable wheat‐clover bi‐cropping compared to conventional wheat‐growing practice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gravesen, Eigil Vestergaard

    2008-01-01

    Linyphiid web densities in wheat-clover bi-crop systems where winter wheat was grown in an under-storey of white clover were compared with web densities estimated in conventional wheat-growing systems. The web densities in the wheat-clover bi-crop systems were on average between 200 and 250 webs ...

  11. Soil fertility and soil loss constraints on crop residue removal for energy production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flaim, S.

    1979-07-01

    A summary of the methodologies used to estimate the soil fertility and soil loss constraints on crop residue removal for energy production is presented. Estimates of excess residue are developed for wheat in north-central Oklahoma and for corn and soybeans in central Iowa. These sample farming situations are analyzed in other research in the Analysis Division of the Solar Energy Research Institute.

  12. Allelopathic effect of new introduced biofuel crops on the soil biota: A comparative study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heděnec, Petr; Frouz, Jan; Ustak, Sergej; Novotny, David

    2015-04-01

    Biofuel crops as an alternative to fossil fuels are a component of the energy mix in many countries. Many of them are introduced plants, so they pose a serious threat of biological invasions. Production of allelopathic compounds can increase invasion success by limiting co-occurring species in the invaded environment (novel weapons hypothesis). In this study, we focused on plant chemistry and production of allelopathic compounds by biofuel crops (hybrid sorrel Rumex tianschanicus x Rumex patientia and miscanthus Miscanthus sinensis) in comparison with invasive knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis) and cultural meadow species. First, we tested the impact of leachates isolated from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus, knotweed and cultural meadow species compared to deionized water, used as a control, on seed germination of mustard (Sinapis arvensis) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivated on sand and soil. Secondly, we studied the effect of leachates on the growth of soil fungal pathogens Fusarium culmorum, Rhizoctonia solani, Sclerotinia solani and Cochliobolus sativus. Finally, we tested the effect of litter of hybrid sorrel, miscanthus, knotweed and cultural meadow litter mixed with soil on population growth of Enchytraeus crypticus and Folsomia candida. Miscanthus and knotweed litter had a higher C:N ratio than the control meadow and hybrid sorrel litter. Miscanthus and hybrid sorrel litter had a higher content of phenols than knotweed and cultural meadow litter. Leachates from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus and knotweed biomass significantly decreased seed germination of wheat and mustard in both substrates. Soil fungal pathogens grew less vigorously on agar enriched by leachates from both biofuel crops than on agar enriched by knotweed and leachates. Litter from hybrid sorrel, miscanthus and knotweed significantly altered (both ways) the population growth of the soil mesofauna.

  13. Ecosystem-service tradeoffs associated with switching from annual to perennial energy crops in riparian zones of the US Midwest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy D Meehan

    Full Text Available Integration of energy crops into agricultural landscapes could promote sustainability if they are placed in ways that foster multiple ecosystem services and mitigate ecosystem disservices from existing crops. We conducted a modeling study to investigate how replacing annual energy crops with perennial energy crops along Wisconsin waterways could affect a variety of provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. We found that a switch from continuous corn production to perennial-grass production decreased annual income provisioning by 75%, although it increased annual energy provisioning by 33%, decreased annual phosphorous loading to surface water by 29%, increased below-ground carbon sequestration by 30%, decreased annual nitrous oxide emissions by 84%, increased an index of pollinator abundance by an average of 11%, and increased an index of biocontrol potential by an average of 6%. We expressed the tradeoffs between income provisioning and other ecosystem services as benefit-cost ratios. Benefit-cost ratios averaged 12.06 GJ of additional net energy, 0.84 kg of avoided phosphorus pollution, 18.97 Mg of sequestered carbon, and 1.99 kg of avoided nitrous oxide emissions for every $1,000 reduction in income. These ratios varied spatially, from 2- to 70-fold depending on the ecosystem service. Benefit-cost ratios for different ecosystem services were generally correlated within watersheds, suggesting the presence of hotspots--watersheds where increases in multiple ecosystem services would come at lower-than-average opportunity costs. When assessing the monetary value of ecosystem services relative to existing conservation programs and environmental markets, the overall value of enhanced services associated with adoption of perennial energy crops was far lower than the opportunity cost. However, when we monitized services using estimates for the social costs of pollution, the value of enhanced services far exceeded the opportunity cost. This

  14. Prediction of County-Level Corn Yields Using an Energy-Crop Growth Index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andresen, Jeffrey A.; Dale, Robert F.; Fletcher, Jerald J.; Preckel, Paul V.

    1989-01-01

    Weather conditions significantly affect corn yields. while weather remains as the major uncontrolled variable in crop production, an understanding of the influence of weather on yields can aid in early and accurate assessment of the impact of weather and climate on crop yields and allow for timely agricultural extension advisories to help reduce farm management costs and improve marketing, decisions. Based on data for four representative countries in Indiana from 1960 to 1984 (excluding 1970 because of the disastrous southern corn leaf blight), a model was developed to estimate corn (Zea mays L.) yields as a function of several composite soil-crop-weather variables and a technology-trend marker, applied nitrogen fertilizer (N). The model was tested by predicting corn yields for 15 other counties. A daily energy-crop growth (ECG) variable in which different weights were used for the three crop-weather variables which make up the daily ECG-solar radiation intercepted by the canopy, a temperature function, and the ratio of actual to potential evapotranspiration-performed better than when the ECG components were weighted equally. The summation of the weighted daily ECG over a relatively short period (36 days spanning silk) was found to provide the best index for predicting county average corn yield. Numerical estimation results indicate that the ratio of actual to potential evapotranspiration (ET/PET) is much more important than the other two ECG factors in estimating county average corn yield in Indiana.

  15. Optimization of Southeastern Forest Biomass Crop Production: A Watershed Scale Evaluation of the Sustainability and Productivity of Dedicated Energy Crop and Woody Biomass Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chescheir, George M. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Nettles, Jami E, [Weyerhaeuser Company; Youssef, Mohamed [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Birgand, Francois [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Amatya, Devendra M. [United States Forest Service; Miller, Darren A. [Weyerhaeuser Company; Sucre, Eric [Weyerhaeuser Company; Schilling, Erik [National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.; Tian, Shiying [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Cacho, Julian F. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Bennett, Erin M. [Ecosystem Planning and Restoration, LLC; Carter, Taylor [HDR; Bowen, Nicole Dobbs [Engineering Design Consultants; Muwamba, Augustine [College of Charleston; Panda, Sudhanshu [University of North Georgia; Christopher, Sheila [Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States); Phillips, Brian D. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Appelboom, Timothy [NC Department of Environmental Quality; Skaggs, Richard W. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Greene, Ethan J. [Land Trust for Central North Carolina; Marshall, Craig D. [Mississippi State University; Allen, Elizabeth [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Schoenholtz, Stephen H. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2018-04-12

    Growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as an intercrop in managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations has emerged as a potential source of bioenergy feedstock. Utilizing land resources between pine trees to produce an energy crop can potentially reduce the demand for land resources used to produce food; however, converting conventionally managed forest land to this new intercropping system constitutes changes in land use and associated management practices, which may affect the environmental and economic sustainability of the land.

    The overall objective of this project is to evaluate the environmental effects of large-scale forest bioenergy crop production and utilize these results to optimize cropping systems in a manner that protects the important ecosystem services provided by forests while contributing to the development of a sustainable and economically-viable biomass industry in the southeastern United States.

    Specific objectives are to:

    1. Quantify the hydrology of different energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments on different landscapes in the southeast.
    2. Quantify the nutrient dynamics of energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments to determine the impact of these systems on water quality.
    3. Evaluate the impacts of energy crop production on soil structure, fertility, and organic matter.
    4. Evaluate the response of flora and fauna populations and habitat quality to energy crop production systems.
    5. Develop watershed and regional scale models to evaluate the environmental sustainability and productivity of energy crop and woody biomass operations.
    6. Quantify the production systems in terms of bioenergy crop yield versus the energy and economic costs of production.
    7. Develop and evaluate best management practice guidelines to ensure the environmental sustainability of energy crop production systems.
    Watershed and plot scale studies

  16. Effects of different cropping systems and weed management methods on free energy and content of pigments in maize

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Spasojević

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Rotation is a cropping system that has many advantages and ensures better crop growth and yielding. Its combinination with other cropping measures can ensure optimal crop density for maximal growth and photosynthesis efficiency. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of different cropping systems: monoculture and two rotations, including maize, wheat and soybean (MSW and MWS, and different weed management methods (weed removal by hoeing, application of a full recommended herbicide dose (RD and half that dose (0.5 RD, and weedy check on weed biomass and maize growth parameters - leaf area index (LAI, free energy, contents of chlorophyll and carotenoids, grain yield, and their possible relationships in two fields of the maize hybrids ZP 677 (H1 and ZP 606 (H2. The lowest LAI and grain yield were found in monoculture, particularly in weedy check, which had relatively high weed infestation. Higher weed biomass was also observed in herbicide treated plots in monoculture. Such high competition pressure indicates a stress reflected on reduced LAI and chlorophyll content, and increased free energy and content of carotenoids. On the other hand, rotation, particularly if it is combined with the application of herbicides or hoeing, had a positive impact on yielding potential by increasing LAI and the contents of chlorophyll and carotenoids, and decreasing free energy.

  17. Comparative environmental impacts of glyphosate and conventional herbicides when used with glyphosate-tolerant and non-tolerant crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mamy, Laure; Gabrielle, Benoit; Barriuso, Enrique

    2010-01-01

    The introduction of glyphosate-tolerant (GT) crops is expected to mitigate the environmental contamination by herbicides because glyphosate is less persistent and toxic than the herbicides used on non-GT crops. Here, we compared the environmental balances of herbicide applications for both crop types in three French field trials. The dynamic of herbicides and their metabolites in soil, groundwater and air was simulated with PRZM model and compared to field measurements. The associated impacts were aggregated with toxicity potentials calculated with the fate and exposure model USES for several environmental endpoints. The impacts of GT systems were lower than those of non-GT systems, but the accumulation in soils of one glyphosate metabolite (aminomethylphosphonic acid) questions the sustainability of GT systems. The magnitude of the impacts depends on the rates and frequency of glyphosate application being highest for GT maize monoculture and lowest for combination of GT oilseed rape and non-GT sugarbeet crops. - The impacts of herbicide applications on glyphosate-tolerant crops could be higher than expected due to the accumulation of a metabolite of glyphosate in soils.

  18. Comparative environmental impacts of glyphosate and conventional herbicides when used with glyphosate-tolerant and non-tolerant crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mamy, Laure, E-mail: laure.mamy@versailles.inra.f [INRA-AgroParisTech, UMR 1091 Environnement et Grandes Cultures, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon (France); Gabrielle, Benoit, E-mail: benoit.gabrielle@agroparistech.f [INRA-AgroParisTech, UMR 1091 Environnement et Grandes Cultures, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon (France); Barriuso, Enrique, E-mail: barriuso@grignon.inra.f [INRA-AgroParisTech, UMR 1091 Environnement et Grandes Cultures, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon (France)

    2010-10-15

    The introduction of glyphosate-tolerant (GT) crops is expected to mitigate the environmental contamination by herbicides because glyphosate is less persistent and toxic than the herbicides used on non-GT crops. Here, we compared the environmental balances of herbicide applications for both crop types in three French field trials. The dynamic of herbicides and their metabolites in soil, groundwater and air was simulated with PRZM model and compared to field measurements. The associated impacts were aggregated with toxicity potentials calculated with the fate and exposure model USES for several environmental endpoints. The impacts of GT systems were lower than those of non-GT systems, but the accumulation in soils of one glyphosate metabolite (aminomethylphosphonic acid) questions the sustainability of GT systems. The magnitude of the impacts depends on the rates and frequency of glyphosate application being highest for GT maize monoculture and lowest for combination of GT oilseed rape and non-GT sugarbeet crops. - The impacts of herbicide applications on glyphosate-tolerant crops could be higher than expected due to the accumulation of a metabolite of glyphosate in soils.

  19. Crop Management Effects on the Energy and Carbon Balances of Maize Stover-Based Ethanol Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prem Woli

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to identify the crop management options—the combinations of various cultivars, irrigation amounts, planting dates, and soils—that would maximize the energy sustainability and eco-friendliness of maize (Zea mays L. stover-based ethanol production systems in the Mississippi Delta. Stover yields simulated with CERES-Maize were used to compute net energy value (NEV and carbon credit balance (CCB, the indicators of sustainability and eco-friendliness of ethanol production, respectively, for various scenarios. As the results showed, deeper soils with higher water holding capacities had larger NEV and CCB values. Both NEV and CCB had sigmoid relationships with irrigation amount and planting date and could be maximized by planting the crop during the optimum planting window. Stover yield had positive effects on NEV and CCB, whereas travel distance had negative. The influence of stover yield was larger than that of travel distance, indicating that increasing feedstock yields should be emphasized over reducing travel distance. The NEV and CCB values indicated that stover-based ethanol production in the Mississippi Delta is sustainable and environmentally friendly. The study demonstrated that the energy sustainability and eco-friendliness of maize stover-based ethanol production could be increased with alternative crop management options.

  20. State of the art and perspectives of the cultivation of energy crops in Hesse. Significance, procedure of cultivation, sustainability; Stand und Perspektiven des Energiepflanzenanbaus in Hessen. Bedeutung, Anbauverfahren, Nachhaltigkeit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-07-15

    In line with the further increase in the use of renewable energy sources, the expansion of biomass utilization in Hesse increasingly becomes important. In light of the increasing criticism of the cultivation of energy crops, it is important to learn about the situation in the Federal State Hessen (Federal Republic of Germany). Under this aspect, the booklet under consideration contributes to proper information and creating acceptance in the current discussion on the development of bioenergy in Hessen. In particular, the brochure reports on the following topics: (1) What is the advantage of the bioenergy in Hessen?; (2) Scope of the cultivation of energy crops in the Hessian agriculture?; (3) Economic aspects of the cultivation of energy crops for biogas plants; (4) Cultivation of oil crops for the production of biodiesel oil and vegetable oil; (5) Cultivation of cereals and sugar beet for bioethanol production; (6) One-year-old energy crops; (7) Perennial energy crops; (8) Aspects of sustainability in the cultivation of energy crops; (9) Areas of conflict in the cultivation of energy crops.

  1. Energy technology impacts on agriculture with a bibliography of models for impact assessment on crop ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rupp, E.M.; Luxmoore, R.J.; Parzyck, D.C.

    1979-09-01

    Possible impacts of energy technologies on agriculture are evaluated, and some of the available simulation models that can be used for predictive purposes are identified. An overview of energy technologies and impacts on the environment is presented to provide a framework for the commentary on the models. Coal combustion is shown to have major impacts on the environment and these will continue into the next century according to current Department of Energy projections. Air pollution effects will thus remain as the major impacts on crop ecosystems. Two hundred reports were evaluated, representing a wide range of models increasing in complexity from mathematical functions (fitted to data) through parametric models (which represent phenomena without describing the mechanisms) to mechanistic models (based on physical, chemical, and physiological principles). Many models were viewed as suitable for adaptation to technology assessment through the incorporation of representative dose-response relationships. It is clear that in many cases available models cannot be taken and directly applied in technology assessment. Very few models of air pollutant-crop interactions were identified, even though there is a considerable data base of pollutant effects on crops.

  2. Pre-study - compilation and synthesis of knowledge about energy crops from cultivation to energy production; Foerstudie - sammanstaellning och syntes av kunskap och erfarenheter om groedor fraan aaker till energiproduktion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berg, Magnus; Bubholz, Monika; Forsberg, Maya; Myringer, Aase; Palm, Ola; Roennbaeck, Marie; Tullin, Claes

    2007-06-15

    Energy crops constitute a yet not fully utilized potential as fuel for heating and power production. As competition for biomass hardens the interest for agricultural fuels such as straw, energy grain, willow, reed canary grass and hemp increases. Utilization of the potential for energy crops as fuels demands that cultivation and harvest are coordinated with transportation, storage and combustion of the crops. Together, Vaermeforsk and Swedish Farmers' Foundation for Agricultural Research (SLF), have taken the initiative to a common research programme. The long-term aim of the programme is to increase production and utilization of bioenergy from agriculture to combustion for heat and power production in Sweden. The vision is that during the programme, 2006 - 2009, decisive steps will be taken towards a working market for biofuels for bioenergy from agriculture. This survey has compiled and synthesized available knowledge and experiences about energy crops from the field to energy production. The aim has been to give a picture of knowledge today, to identify knowledge gaps and to synthesize knowledge of today into future research needs. A proposal of a research plan has been developed for the research programme.

  3. Food Yields and Nutrient Analyses of the Three Sisters: A Haudenosaunee Cropping System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Mt.Pleasant

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Scholars have studied The Three Sisters, a traditional cropping system of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois, from multiple perspectives. However, there is no research examining food yields, defined as the quantities of energy and protein produced per unit land area, from the cropping system within Iroquoia. This article compares food yields and other nutrient contributions from the Three Sisters, comprised of interplanted maize, bean and pumpkin, with monocultures of these same crops. The Three Sisters yields more energy (12.25 x 106 kcal/ha and more protein (349 kg/ha than any of the crop monocultures or mixtures of monocultures planted to the same area. The Three Sisters supplies 13.42 people/ha/yr. with energy and 15.86 people/ha/yr. with protein. Nutrient contents of the crops are further enhanced by nixtamalization, a traditional processing technique where maize is cooked in a high alkaline solution. This process increases calcium, protein quality, and niacin in maize.

  4. The dynamics of hydroponic crops for simulation studies of the CELSS initial reference configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Tyler

    1993-01-01

    During the past several years, the NASA Program in Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) has continued apace with crop research and logistic, technological, and scientific strides. These include the CELSS Test Facility planned for the space station and its prototype Engineering Development Unit, soon to be active at Ames Research Center (as well as the advanced crop growth research chamber at Ames); the large environmental growth chambers and the planned human test bed facility at Johnson Space Center; the NSCORT at Purdue with new candidate crops and diverse research into the CELSS components; the gas exchange data for soy, potatoes, and wheat from Kennedy Space Center (KSC); and the high-precision gas exchange data for wheat from Utah State University (USU). All these developments, taken together, speak to the need for crop modeling as a means to connect the findings of the crop physiologists with the engineers designing the system. A need also exists for crop modeling to analyze and predict the gas exchange data from the various locations to maximize the scientific yield from the experiments. One fruitful approach employs what has been called the 'energy cascade'. Useful as a basis for CELSS crop growth experimental design, the energy cascade as a generic modeling approach for CELSS crops is a featured accomplishment in this report. The energy cascade is a major tool for linking CELSS crop experiments to the system design. The energy cascade presented here can help collaborations between modelers and crop experimenters to develop the most fruitful experiments for pushing the limits of crop productivity. Furthermore, crop models using the energy cascade provide a natural means to compare, feature for feature, the crop growth components between different CELSS experiments, for example, at Utah State University and Kennedy Space Center.

  5. Higher US crop prices trigger little area expansion so marginal land for biofuel crops is limited

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swinton, Scott M.; Babcock, Bruce A.; James, Laura K.; Bandaru, Varaprasad

    2011-01-01

    By expanding energy biomass production on marginal lands that are not currently used for crops, food prices increase and indirect climate change effects can be mitigated. Studies of the availability of marginal lands for dedicated bioenergy crops have focused on biophysical land traits, ignoring the human role in decisions to convert marginal land to bioenergy crops. Recent history offers insights about farmer willingness to put non-crop land into crop production. The 2006-09 leap in field crop prices and the attendant 64% gain in typical profitability led to only a 2% increase in crop planted area, mostly in the prairie states. At this rate, a doubling of expected profitability from biomass crops would expand cropland supply by only 3.2%. Yet targets for cellulosic ethanol production in the US Energy Independence and Security Act imply boosting US planted area by 10% or more with perennial biomass crops. Given landowner reluctance to expand crop area with familiar crops in the short run, large scale expansion of the area in dedicated bioenergy crops will likely be difficult and costly to achieve. - Highlights: → Biofuel crops on cropland can displace food crops, reducing food supply and triggering indirect land use. → Growing biofuel crops on non-crop marginal land avoids these problems. → But US farmers expanded cropland by only 2% when crop profitability jumped 64% during 2006-09. → So medium-term availability of marginal lands for biofuel crops is limited and costly.

  6. Biomass production on marginal lands - catalogue of bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgarten, Wibke; Ivanina, Vadym; Hanzhenko, Oleksandr

    2017-04-01

    Marginal lands are the poorest type of land, with various limitations for traditional agriculture. However, they can be used for biomass production for bioenergy based on perennial plants or trees. The main advantage of biomass as an energy source compared to fossil fuels is the positive influence on the global carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphere. During combustion of biofuels, less carbon dioxide is emitted than is absorbed by plants during photosynthesis. Besides, 20 to 30 times less sulphur oxide and 3 to 4 times less ash is formed as compared with coal. Growing bioenergy crops creates additional workplaces in rural areas. Soil and climatic conditions of most European regions are suitable for growing perennial energy crops that are capable of rapid transforming solar energy into energy-intensive biomass. Selcted plants are not demanding for soil fertility, do not require a significant amount of fertilizers and pesticides and can be cultivated, therefore, also on unproductive lands of Europe. They prevent soil erosion, contribute to the preservation and improvement of agroecosystems and provide low-cost biomass. A catalogue of potential bioenergy plants was developed within the EU H2020 project SEEMLA including woody and perennial crops that are allowed to be grown in the territory of the EU and Ukraine. The catalogue lists high-productive woody and perennial crops that are not demanding to the conditions of growing and can guarantee stable high yields of high-energy-capacity biomass on marginal lands of various categories of marginality. Biomass of perennials plants and trees is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, which are directly used to produce solid biofuels. Thanks to the well-developed root system of trees and perennial plants, they are better adapted to poor soils and do not require careful maintenance. Therefore, they can be grown on marginal lands. Particular C4 bioenergy crops are well adapted to a lack of moisture and high

  7. Herbaceous energy crops in humid lower South USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prine, G.M.; Woodard, K.R. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The humid lower South has the long warm growing season and high rainfall conditions needed for producing high-yielding perennial herbaceous grasses and shrubs. Many potential biomass plants were evaluated during a ten-year period. Perennial tall grasses such as elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum), sugarcane and energycane (Saccharum spp.) and the leguminous shrub Leucaena leucocephala were the highest in biomass production. These perennial crops often have top growth killed by winter freezes and regenerate from underground parts. The tall grasses have high yields because of linear crop growth rates of 18 to 27 g m{sup 2} d{sup {minus}1} for long periods (140 to 196 d) each season. Tall grasses must be planted vegetatively, which is more costly than seed propagation, however, once established, they may persist for many seasons. Oven dry biomass yields have varied from 20 to 45 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1} in colder subtropical to mild temperate locations to over 60 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1} in the lower portion of the Florida peninsular. Highest biomass yields have been produced when irrigated with sewage effluent or when grown on phosphatic clay and muck soils in south Florida. The energy content of 1 Mg of oven dry tall grass and leucaena is equivalent to that of about 112 and 123 gallons of number 2 diesel fuel, respectively.

  8. Assessment of GHG emissions of biomethane from energy cereal crops in Umbria, Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buratti, C.; Barbanera, M.; Fantozzi, F.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • GHG emissions of biomethane from energy crops cultivated in a central Italian farm were investigated. • Electricity consumption of the biogas plant was monitored. • Current scenario does not allow to achieve a GHG saving according to Renewable Energy Directive. • GHG emissions could be reduced by covering the storage tanks of digestate and installing a CHP plant. - Abstract: Biomethane from energy crops is a renewable energy carrier and therefore it potentially contributes to climate change mitigation. However, significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from cultivation and processing must be considered. Among those, the production and use of nitrogen fertilizers, the resulting nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions, the methane emissions from digestate storage and the energy consumption of the biogas plant are crucial factors. In the present paper an integrated life cycle assessment (LCA) of GHG emissions from biomethane production is carried out, taking into account own measurements and experience data from a modern biogas plant located in Umbria, Italy. The study is also focused on the electricity consumption of the biogas plant, assessing the specific absorption power of each machinery. The analysis is based on the methodology defined by the European Union Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (RED). The main result is that the biomethane chain exceeds the minimum value of GHG saving (35%) mainly due to the open storage of digestate. However by varying the system, using heat and electricity from a biogas CHP plant and covering digestate storage tank, a reduction of 68.9% could be obtained

  9. A Spatial-Dynamic Agent-based Model of Energy Crop Introduction in Jiangsu province, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, K.; Schneider, U. A.; Scheffran, J.

    2012-12-01

    Bioenergy, as one promising option to replace a fraction of conventional fossil fuels and lower net greenhouse gas emissions, has gained many countries', in particular developing ones' attention. Their focus is mainly on the design of efficient bioenergy utilization pathways which adapt to both local geographic features and economic conditions. The establishment of a biomass production sector would be the first and pivotal component in the whole industrial chain. Several existing studies have estimated the global biomass for energy potential but arrived at very different results. One reason for the large uncertainty of biomass potential may be ascribed to the diverse nature of biomass leading to different estimates in different circumstances. Therefore, specific research at the local level is essential. Following this thought, our research conducted in the Jiangsu province, a representative region in China, will explore the spatial distribution of biomass production. The employed methodology can also be applied to other locations both in China and similar developing countries if model parameters are adequately adjusted. In this study, we analyze the local situation in the Jiangsu province focusing on the selection of new energy crops, since the cultivation of dedicated crop for energy use is still in experimental phase. We also examine the land use conflict which is especially relevant to China with more than 1.3 billion people and a severe burden on food supply. We develop an agent-based model to find the optimal spatial distribution of biomass (SDA-SDB) in Jiangsu province. Compromising data accessibility and heterogeneity of environmental factors across the province, we resolve our model at county level and consider the aggregated farming community in one county as a single agent. The aim of SDA-SDB is to simulate farmers' decision process of allocating land to either food or energy crops facing limited resources and political targets for bioenergy development

  10. PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF THE SOLID AND LIQUID WASTE PRODUCTS FROM THE HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATED ENERGY CROPS GASIFICATION PROCESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Werle

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of basic physico-chemical properties of solid (ash and liquid (tar waste products of the gasification process of the heavy metal contaminated energy crops. The gasification process has carried out in a laboratory fixed bed reactor. Three types of energy crops: Miscanthus x giganteus, Sida hermaphrodita and Spartina Pectinata were used. The experimental plots were established on heavy metal contaminated arable land located in Bytom (southern part of Poland, Silesian Voivodship.

  11. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisca Fernández-Tirado

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA. Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA and two functional units (FUs were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  12. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernández-Tirado, F.; Parra-López, C.; Romero-Gámez, M.

    2017-01-01

    Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and two functional units (FUs) were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  13. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of energy crops: A life cycle assessment of Spanish rapeseed and Argentinean soybean cultivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernández-Tirado, F.; Parra-López, C.; Romero-Gámez, M.

    2017-09-01

    Rapeseed oil is expected to be increasingly used in Spain as raw material to produce biodiesel to the detriment of extra-EU imports of biodiesel mainly based on soybean oil from Argentina. Therefore, the environmental impacts produced throughout the life cycle of energy crops used to produce biodiesel which is consumed in Spain could be radically affected. In this context, the environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation in Spain and soybean cultivation in Argentina, were compared under certain growing conditions using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Two methods of calculation for Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and two functional units (FUs) were used to test potential biases. The results showed that the cultivation of soybean in Argentina had, in general, fewer environmental impacts than rapeseed cultivation in Spain when the FU was the area of cultivation, but these findings are inverted when the analysis is conducted according to the energy content of the biodiesel obtained from these crops. Soybean in fact has very low oil content, meaning that larger areas of land are required to obtain the same amount of biodiesel and that consequently it has a higher environmental impact by energy content. Fertilization was, in general, the process that generated the greatest environmental burdens, and is an area in which improvement is necessary in order to increase sustainability, particularly with regard to Spanish rapeseed.

  14. Crop residues as a potential renewable energy source for Malawi's cement industry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gondwe, Kenneth J.; Chiotha, Sosten S.; Mkandawire, Theresa

    2017-01-01

    that the projected total energy demands in 2020, 2025 and 2030 were approximately 177 810 TJ, 184 210 TJ and 194 096 TJ respectively. The highest supply potentials were found to be in the central and southern regions of Malawi, coinciding with the locations of the two clinker plants. Crop residues could meet 45......-57% of the national total energy demand. The demand from the cement industry is only 0.8% of the estimated biomass energy potential. At an annual production of 600 000 t of clinker and 20% biomass co-firing with coal, 18 562 t of coal consumption would be avoided and 46 128 t of carbon dioxide emission reduction...

  15. Short Rotation Crops in the United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L L

    1998-06-04

    The report is based primarily on the results of survey questions sent to approximately 60 woody and 20 herbaceous crop researchers in the United States and on information from the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program. Responses were received from 13 individuals involved in woody crops research or industrial commercialization (with 5 of the responses coming from industry). Responses were received from 11 individuals involved in herbaceous crop research. Opinions on market incentives, technical and non-technical barriers, and highest priority research and development areas are summarized in the text. Details on research activities of the survey responders are provided as appendices to the paper. Woody crops grown as single-stem systems (primarily Populus and Eucalyptus species) are perceived to have strong pulp fiber and oriented strand board markets, and the survey responders anticipated that energy will comprise 25% or less of the utilization of single-stem short-rotation woody crops between now and 2010. The only exception was a response from California where a substantial biomass energy market does currently exist. Willows (Salix species) are only being developed for energy and only in one part of the United States at present. Responses from herbaceous crop researchers suggested frustration that markets (including biomass energy markets) do not currently exist for the crop, and it was the perception of many that federal incentives will be needed to create such markets. In all crops, responses indicate that a wide variety of research and development activities are needed to enhance the yields and profitability of the crops. Ongoing research activities funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program are described in an appendix to the paper.

  16. Potential productivity of the Miscanthus energy crop in the Loess Plateau of China under climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Wei; Sang, Tao

    2013-01-01

    With a vast area of marginal land, the Loess Plateau of China is a promising region for large-scale production of second-generation energy crops. However, it remains unknown whether such production is sustainable in the long run, especially under climate change. Using a regional climate change model, PRECIS, we analyzed the impact of climate change on Miscanthus production in the Loess Plateau. Under three emission scenarios, A2, B2, and A1B, both the average yield and total area capable of supporting Miscanthus production would increase continuously in the future period (2011–2099). As a result, the total yield potential in the region would increase by about 20% in this future period from the baseline period (1961–1990). This was explained primarily by predicted increases in temperature and precipitation across the Loess Plateau, which improved the yield of the perennial C4 plants relying exclusively on rainfed production. The areas that are currently too dry or too cold to support Miscanthus production could be turned into energy crop fields, especially along the arid–semiarid transition zone. Thus the Loess Plateau would become increasingly desirable for growing second-generation energy crops in this century, which could in turn contribute to soil improvement and ecological restoration of the region. (letter)

  17. Crop intensification, land use, and on-farm energy-use efficiency during the worldwide spread of the green revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrini, Pedro; Fernández, Roberto J

    2018-03-06

    We analyzed crop production, physical inputs, and land use at the country level to assess technological changes behind the threefold increase in global crop production from 1961 to 2014. We translated machinery, fuel, and fertilizer to embedded energy units that, when summed up, provided a measure of agricultural intensification (human subsidy per hectare) for crops in the 58 countries responsible for 95% of global production. Worldwide, there was a 137% increase in input use per hectare, reaching 13 EJ, or 2.6% of the world's primary energy supply, versus only a 10% increase in land use. Intensification was marked in Asia and Latin America, where input-use levels reached those that North America and Europe had in the earlier years of the period; the increase was more accentuated, irrespective of continent, for the 12 countries with mostly irrigated production. Half of the countries (28/58), mainly developed ones, had an average subsidy >5 GJ/ha/y (with fertilizers accounting for 27% in 1961 and 45% in 2014), with most of them (23/28) using about the same area or less than in 1961 (net land sparing of 31 Mha). Most of the remaining countries (24/30 with inputs <5 GJ/ha/y), mainly developing ones, increased their cropped area (net land extensification of 135 Mha). Overall, energy-use efficiency (crop output/inputs) followed a U-shaped trajectory starting at about 3 and finishing close to 4. The prospects of a more sustainable intensification are discussed, and the inadequacy of the land-sparing model expectation of protecting wilderness via intensified agriculture is highlighted.

  18. Assessment of the GHG Reduction Potential from Energy Crops Using a Combined LCA and Biogeochemical Process Models: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Jiang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose for developing biofuel is to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas emissions, but the comprehensive environmental impact of such fuels is not clear. Life cycle analysis (LCA, as a complete comprehensive analysis method, has been widely used in bioenergy assessment studies. Great efforts have been directed toward establishing an efficient method for comprehensively estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG emission reduction potential from the large-scale cultivation of energy plants by combining LCA with ecosystem/biogeochemical process models. LCA presents a general framework for evaluating the energy consumption and GHG emission from energy crop planting, yield acquisition, production, product use, and postprocessing. Meanwhile, ecosystem/biogeochemical process models are adopted to simulate the fluxes and storage of energy, water, carbon, and nitrogen in the soil-plant (energy crops soil continuum. Although clear progress has been made in recent years, some problems still exist in current studies and should be addressed. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art method for estimating GHG emission reduction through developing energy crops and introduces in detail a new approach for assessing GHG emission reduction by combining LCA with biogeochemical process models. The main achievements of this study along with the problems in current studies are described and discussed.

  19. Development of a farm-firm modelling system for evaluation of herbaceous energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    English, B.C.; Alexander, R.R.; Loewen, K.H.; Coady, S.A.; Cole, G.V.; Goodman, W.R.

    1992-01-01

    A complete analysis is performed to simulate biomass production incorporated into a realistic whole farm situation, including or replacing a typical crop mix. Representative farms are constructed to accommodate such simulation. Four management systems are simulated for each firm, with each simulation depicting a different crop mix and/or use of different farming technologies and production methods. The first simulation was a base farm plan in which the operator would maintain the historical crop mix for the area, participate in all price support programs, and not participate in either a conservative reserve or a biomass production program. In the second simulation, the operator would again maintain the historical crop mix, would not participate in a conservation reserve or biomass production program, and would be ineligible to participate in any price support system. The third simulation introduced the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and included participation in all price support programs. The fourth simulation introduced a biomass crop production enterprise (switchgrass) as an alternative to enrolling highly erodible cropland in the CRP and allowed participation in price support programs. Simulations were made for three farms, two in West Tennessee and on in South Georgia. Results indicate that erosion is likely to be reduced more by the diversion of cropland to permanent vegetative cover on farms similar to the more highly erodible West Tennessee farms than on the less erodible Tift County, Georgia farm. Equivalent reductions in erosion rates result from entering highly erodible cropland in the CRP and from production of switchgrass as a biomass energy crop. Both switchgrass and CRP farm plans result in decreased net returns from the base plan, although the biomass farm plans are, in general, more profitable than the CRP plans

  20. Energy performances of intensive and extensive short rotation cropping systems for woody biomass production in the EU

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Djomo, S. N.; Ač, Alexander; Zenone, T.; De Groote, T.; Bergante, S.; Facciotto, G.; Sixto, H.; Ciria Ciria, P.; Weger, J.; Ceulemans, R.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 41, jan (2015), s. 845-854 ISSN 1364-0321 R&D Projects: GA MŠk EE2.3.30.0056 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : poplar * willow * bioenergy crops * energy balance * energy efficiency Subject RIV: GC - Agronomy Impact factor: 6.798, year: 2015

  1. Oil crops: requirements and possibilities for their utilization as an energy source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boerner, G; Schoenefeldt, J; Mehring, I [OeHMI Forschung und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Magdeburg (Germany)

    1995-12-01

    Although vegetable oils have been used as an energy source for centuries, they were used almost exclusively in oil lamps. Their value as a foodstuff and the availability and low price of mineral oil had for a long time kept them from being seriously considered as a potential energy source. Now, owing to the increasing cost of fossil fuel, particularly oil, and increasing industrial energy consumption, as well as the negative impact of fossil fuel use on the environment, there is interest in a number of alternative energy sources, including vegetable oils. The discussion in this paper focuses on the use of untreated vegetable oils, particularly rapeseed oil. The energy potential of rapeseed oil is explored first. Then, conditions under which the use of oil crops as an energy source is feasible are briefly discussed; two concepts for decentralized oil-seed processing are described and, finally, future possibilities for use of vegetable oils as a fuel source are reviewed. (author) 5 refs, 4 figs, 4 tabs

  2. Oil crops: requirements and possibilities for their utilization as an energy source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boerner, G.; Schoenefeldt, J.; Mehring, I.

    1995-01-01

    Although vegetable oils have been used as an energy source for centuries, they were used almost exclusively in oil lamps. Their value as a foodstuff and the availability and low price of mineral oil had for a long time kept them from being seriously considered as a potential energy source. Now, owing to the increasing cost of fossil fuel, particularly oil, and increasing industrial energy consumption, as well as the negative impact of fossil fuel use on the environment, there is interest in a number of alternative energy sources, including vegetable oils. The discussion in this paper focuses on the use of untreated vegetable oils, particularly rapeseed oil. The energy potential of rapeseed oil is explored first. Then, conditions under which the use of oil crops as an energy source is feasible are briefly discussed; two concepts for decentralized oil-seed processing are described and, finally, future possibilities for use of vegetable oils as a fuel source are reviewed. (author)

  3. Cover crops support ecological intensification of arable cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittwer, Raphaël A.; Dorn, Brigitte; Jossi, Werner; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2017-02-01

    A major challenge for agriculture is to enhance productivity with minimum impact on the environment. Several studies indicate that cover crops could replace anthropogenic inputs and enhance crop productivity. However, so far, it is unclear if cover crop effects vary between different cropping systems, and direct comparisons among major arable production systems are rare. Here we compared the short-term effects of various cover crops on crop yield, nitrogen uptake, and weed infestation in four arable production systems (conventional cropping with intensive tillage and no-tillage; organic cropping with intensive tillage and reduced tillage). We hypothesized that cover cropping effects increase with decreasing management intensity. Our study demonstrated that cover crop effects on crop yield were highest in the organic system with reduced tillage (+24%), intermediate in the organic system with tillage (+13%) and in the conventional system with no tillage (+8%) and lowest in the conventional system with tillage (+2%). Our results indicate that cover crops are essential to maintaining a certain yield level when soil tillage intensity is reduced (e.g. under conservation agriculture), or when production is converted to organic agriculture. Thus, the inclusion of cover crops provides additional opportunities to increase the yield of lower intensity production systems and contribute to ecological intensification.

  4. Energizing marginal soils: A perennial cropping system for Sida hermaphrodita

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabel, Moritz; Poorter, Hendrik; Temperton, Vicky; Schrey, Silvia D.; Koller, Robert; Schurr, Ulrich; Jablonowski, Nicolai D.

    2017-04-01

    As a way to avoid land use conflicts, the use of marginal soils for the production of plant biomass can be a sustainable alternative to conventional biomass production (e.g. maize). However, new cropping strategies have to be found that meet the challenge of crop production under marginal soil conditions. We aim for increased soil fertility by the use of the perennial crop Sida hermaphrodita in combination with organic fertilization and legume intercropping to produce substantial biomass yield. We present results of a three-year outdoor mesocosm experiment testing the perennial energy crop Sida hermaphrodita grown on a marginal model substrate (sand) with four kinds of fertilization (Digestate broadcast, Digestate Depot, mineral NPK and unfertilized control) in combination with legume intercropping. After three years, organic fertilization (via biogas digestate) compared to mineral fertilization (NPK), reduced the nitrate concentration in leachate and increased the soil carbon content. Biomass yields of Sida were 25% higher when fertilized organically, compared to mineral fertilizer. In general, digestate broadcast application reduced root growth and the wettability of the sandy substrate. However, when digestate was applied locally as depot to the rhizosphere, root growth increased and the wettability of the sandy substrate was preserved. Depot fertilization increased biomass yield by 10% compared to digestate broadcast fertilization. We intercropped Sida with various legumes (Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense, Melilotus spp. and Medicago sativa) to enable biological nitrogen fixation and make the cropping system independent from synthetically produced fertilizers. We could show that Medicago sativa grown on marginal substrate fixed large amounts of N, especially when fertilized organically, whereas mineral fertilization suppressed biological nitrogen fixation. We conclude that the perennial energy crop Sida in combination with organic fertilization has great

  5. Utilization of residual biochar produced from the pyrolysis of energy crops for soil enrichment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pilon, G.; Lavoie, J.M. [Sherbrooke Univ., Sherbrooke, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

    2010-07-01

    Although national and international interest in the use of energy crops for the production of biofuels is increasing, it is understood that measures must be taken to ensure that the production and transportation of these energy crops does not require more energy than they provide and that the soil should not be left uncovered so as not to reduce its organic content and nutrients. In response, concerns regarding soil fertilization have increased. A technique for biomass preconversion known as pyrolysis-torrefaction involves the production of char and bio-oil from biomass. This processing method is gaining interest because the char may be useful for many applications such as a fuel, soil conditioner or carbon sequestration. An appropriate distribution of biochar applications could be potentially beneficial for the sustainability of biomass use in the imminent biomarket. In this study, biochar produced from switchgrass was prepared and characterized to verify its potential as a soil enhancer and its potential as a solid fuel. The biochar was prepared under varying reacting conditions using custom-made bench scale, batch-type fixed bed pyrolysis-torrefaction reactor. Volatiles were released by varying the residence times.

  6. Energy efficiency of conventional, organic, and alternative cropping systems for food and fuel at a site in the U.S. Midwest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, Ilya; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Robertson, G Philip

    2010-05-15

    The prospect of biofuel production on a large scale has focused attention on energy efficiencies associated with different agricultural systems and production goals. We used 17 years of detailed data on agricultural practices and yields to calculate an energy balance for different cropping systems under both food and fuel scenarios. We compared four grain and one forage systems in the U.S. Midwest: corn (Zea mays) - soybean (Glycine max) - wheat (Triticum aestivum) rotations managed with (1) conventional tillage, (2) no till, (3) low chemical input, and (4) biologically based (organic) practices, and (5) continuous alfalfa (Medicago sativa). We compared energy balances under two scenarios: all harvestable biomass used for food versus all harvestable biomass used for biofuel production. Among the annual grain crops, average energy costs of farming for the different systems ranged from 4.8 GJ ha(-1) y(-1) for the organic system to 7.1 GJ ha(-1) y(-1) for the conventional; the no-till system was also low at 4.9 GJ ha(-1) y(-1) and the low-chemical input system intermediate (5.2 GJ ha(-1) y(-1)). For each system, the average energy output for food was always greater than that for fuel. Overall energy efficiencies ranged from output:input ratios of 10 to 16 for conventional and no-till food production and from 7 to 11 for conventional and no-till fuel production, respectively. Alfalfa for fuel production had an efficiency similar to that of no-till grain production for fuel. Our analysis points to a more energetically efficient use of cropland for food than for fuel production and large differences in efficiencies attributable to management, which suggests multiple opportunities for improvement.

  7. Carbon sequestration by Miscanthus energy crops plantations in a broad range semi-arid marginal land in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Jia; Liu, Wei; Yang, Wenhui; Yan, Juan; Li, Jianqiang; Sang, Tao

    2014-10-15

    Carbon sequestration is an essential ecosystem service that second-generation energy crops can provide. To evaluate the ability of carbon sequestration of Miscanthus energy crops in the Loess Plateau of China, the yield and soil organic carbon (SOC) changes were measured for three Miscanthus species in the experimental field in Qingyang of the Gansu Province (QG). With the highest yield of the three species, Miscanthus lutarioriparius contributed to the largest increase of SOC, 0.57 t ha(-1)yr(-1), comparing to the field left unplanted. Through modeling M. lutarioriparius yield across the Loess Plateau, an average increase of SOC was estimated at 0.46 t ha(-1)yr(-1) for the entire region. Based on the measurements of SOC mineralization under various temperatures and moistures for soil samples taken from QG, a model was developed for estimating SOC mineralization rates across the Loess Plateau and resulted in an average of 1.11 t ha(-1)yr(-1). Combining the estimates from these models, the average of net carbon sequestration was calculated at a rate of 9.13 t ha(-1)yr(-1) in the Loess Plateau. These results suggested that the domestication and production of M. lutarioriparius hold a great potential for carbon sequestration and soil restoration in this heavily eroded region. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Determination of the biogas and methane yield of selected energy crops. [NAchWAchsende ROhstoffe]; Ermittlung der Biogas- und Methanausbeute ausgewaehlter Nawaro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohl, Susanne

    2011-11-15

    The aim of this paper is the characterization of substrate quality and methane yield of different energy crops, which were cultivated in Schleswig-Holstein. The specific methane production of 224 variants was determined in with Hohenheim biogas yield test (HBT), 72 variants were investigated in a common batch test. The specific methane production (HBT) is 359-371 l{sub N}/kg{sub oDM} for wheat, 358-378 l{sub N}/kg{sub oDM} for maize and 341-372 l{sub N}/kg{sub oDM} for perennial ryegrass. The results for the specific methane production are due to a systematic offset in the batch experiment always below those of the HBT. Silages achieve higher gas yields than fresh substrates. The mass losses, which occur during ensiling, were compensated due to the higher gas yields. Maize is compared with other energy crops superior in terms of the yield per hectare. The experimentally determined methane yields showed a good agreement with calculated theoretical methane yields (method of WEIssBACH 2008, 2009).

  9. EFFECTIVENESS OF SELECTION OF WHEAT TO MODERN REQUIREMENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE III. ENERGY PRODUCTIVITY OF CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisaveta Vasileva

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study was to conclude on adaptation of modern varieties to the requirements of sustainable agriculture and hence the effectiveness of their methods of selection with respect to these requirements. The comparison between genotypes in two directions - by the selection methods by which they were established and according to the time of their creation. Energy assessment shows that the gross energy yield of grain is higher ( in average 5% over standard for varieties produced by the methods of the Intervarietal hybridization and during the period 1995 to 1999. While absolute maximum values of the energy productivity of grain (at N18 and maximum average total gross energy productivity of crops (4% above standard were detected in genotypes generated by the methods of mutagenesis by irradiation with gamma rays. Absolute maximum value of the energy productivity of crops were reported in cultivar Zdravko (at N18, which was established by the method of plant biotechnology by combining and somaclonal variation.

  10. Policies for Reintegrating Crop and Livestock Systems: A Comparative Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachael D. Garrett

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The reintegration of crop and livestock systems within the same land area has the potential to improve soil quality and reduce water and air pollution, while maintaining high yields and reducing risk. In this study, we characterize the degree to which federal policies in three major global food production regions that span a range of socioeconomic contexts, Brazil, New Zealand, and the United States, incentivize or disincentivize the use of integrated crop and livestock practices (ICLS. Our analysis indicates that Brazil and New Zealand have the most favorable policy environment for ICLS, while the United States provides the least favorable environment. The balance of policy incentives and disincentives across our three cases studies mirrors current patterns of ICLS usage. Brazil and New Zealand have both undergone a trend toward mixed crop livestock systems in recent years, while the United States has transitioned rapidly toward continuous crop and livestock production. If transitions to ICLS are desired, particularly in the United States, it will be necessary to change agricultural, trade, environmental, biofuels, and food safety policies that currently buffer farmers from risk, provide too few incentives for pollution reduction, and restrict the presence of animals in crop areas. It will also be necessary to invest more in research and development in all countries to identify the most profitable ICLS technologies in each region.

  11. Application of Multio-bjective Fuzzy Goal Programming to Optimize Cropping Pattern with Emphasis on Using Conservation Tillage Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    samad erfanifar

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the optimal cropping patterns based on individual aims are presented and followed by a multi-objective cropping pattern with emphasize on the use of conservation tillage methods in Darab region presented. Individual goals consisted of maximizing gross margin and food secIn this study, the optimal cropping patterns based on individual aims were presented and followed by using a multi-objective fuzzy goal programming with emphasize on the use of conservation tillage methods in the Darab region. Individual goals consisted of maximizing gross margin and food security and minimizing water consumption and urea fertilizer use. The results showed that in the multi-objective cropping pattern, gross margin and food security increased by 23.5% and 6.1% , while water and energy consumption decreased by 4% and 5.1%, respectively as compared to the current cropping pattern. The fuzzy composite distance improved by %36, as compared to the current condition. Moreover, having replaced the conventional tillage methods with conservation tillage methods in the cropping pattern, the diesel fuel consumption reduced by 27%. Therefore, replacing multi-objective cropping pattern ,on which the conservation tillage methods are emphasized, with the conventional cropping patterns improves economic and environmental conditions. urity index and minimizing water and urea fertilizer.The results showed that in the multi-objective cropping pattern, gross margin and food security index respectively increase by 23.5% and 6.1% and water and energy consumption decrease by 4% and 5.1% respectively as compared to current cropping pattern. The fuzzy composite distance improves by %36 compares to current condition and represents better cropping pattern than the others. Morever in this cropping pattern, conventional tillage method will be replaced by conservation tillage practices, therefore the amount of diesel fuel consumption reduces by 27% that is equivalent to an

  12. “Marginal land” for energy crops: Exploring definitions and embedded assumptions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shortall, O.K.

    2013-01-01

    The idea of using less productive or “marginal land” for energy crops is promoted as a way to overcome the previous land use controversies faced by biofuels. It is argued that marginal land use would not compete with food production, is widely available and would incur fewer environmental impacts. This term is notoriously vague however, as are the details of how marginal land use for energy crops would work in practice. This paper explores definitions of the term “marginal land” in academic, consultancy, NGO, government and industry documents in the UK. It identifies three separate definitions of the term: land unsuitable for food production; ambiguous lower quality land; and economically marginal land. It probes these definitions further by exploring the technical, normative and political assumptions embedded within them. It finds that the first two definitions are normatively motivated: this land should be used to overcome controversies and the latter definition is predictive: this land is likely to be used. It is important that the different advantages, disadvantages and implications of the definitions are spelled out so definitions are not conflated to create unrealistic expectations about the role of marginal land in overcoming biofuels land use controversies. -- Highlights: •Qualitative methods were used to explore definitions of the term “marginal land”. •Three definitions were identified. •Two definitions focus on overcoming biomass land use controversies. •One definition predicts what land will be used for growing biomass. •Definitions contain problematic assumptions

  13. Impact of sole cropping and multiple cropping on soil humified carbon fractions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radhakrishnan, R.; Lee, I.J.

    2014-01-01

    The present study was planned to improve our understanding how crop rotation can enhance humified C fractions. A long term experiment was conducted on Vanmeter farm of the Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon Ohio, USA from 2002 to 2007. Crop rotation treatments included were continuous corn (CC), corn-soybean (CS) and corn-soybean-wheat-cowpea (CSW) rotations. Randomized complete block design with 6 replications was used under natural field conditions. The findings of this long-term study revealed that multiple cropping had significantly improved humified carbon fractions compared to mono-cropping system. Although total humified carbon (THOC), sugar free humified carbon (HOC) concentration were non-significant however, humin (NH) contents, humic (HA), fulvic acids (FA), humic and fulvic acid associated glucose (HA-NH and FA-NH) were significantly affected by various crop rotations within five years. The soil under CC had 22-52% significantly greater NH concentration than CSW and CS rotations respectively. Similarly all crop rotations had shown 5-16 increase in HA and 5-17% decreased in FA over time. Likewise soil under CC had 16 and 54% greater HA-NH concentration as compared to CSW and CS rotations. The FA-NH concentration increased significantly by 27- 51% in soil under all treatments over time. The soil under CSW had greater HA/FA (1.6) fallowed by CC (1.4) and CS (1.1). Soils under CSW had significantly greater HA/HOC (12-18%) as compare to CC and CS respectively. Conversely, the value of FA/HOC decreased (1-23%) in soil under all crop rotation treatments within five years. Degree of humification (DH) had shown a significant increase (7-12%) in soil under all treatments as compared to 2002. Irrespective of crop rotation THOC, HOC, NH, humin, HA, HR and FA/HOC concentration decreased significantly with increase in soil depth. While fulvic acid concentration HA/HOC in all crop rotation increased with increase in soil depth. The effect of crop rotation

  14. (Hordeum Vulgare) Crop Coefficient and Comparative Assessment

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    The second prerequisite for sustainable use of water was developing/ ... Following the construction of .... pond capacity, the irrigation method, soil type, major crops grown in the area, and the ... determines the viability of any irrigation project. .... lack of awareness, lack of skill, technology and lack of adequate knowledge in ...

  15. Biomass and energy production of catch crops in areas with deficiency of precipitation during summer period in central Bohemia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brant, V.; Pivec, J.; Fuksa, P.; Neckar, K.; Kocourkova, D.; Venclova, V.

    2011-01-01

    The biomass production dynamics of catch crops, volunteers and weeds in dependence on precipitation and air temperature, was studied in central Bohemia from 2004 to 2006. The cover of individual components of the growth was monitored during the same period. Also measured were energy and efficiency of utilization of global radiation by catch crops and volunteers. The catch crops included the following species: Brassica napus, Lolium multiflorum, Lolium perenne, Phacelia tanacetifolia, Sinapis alba, Trifolium incarnatum, Raphanus sativus var. oleiformis and Trifolium subterraneum. The highest biomass production and the highest cover of catch crops were observed in treatments with S. alba (1382.0 kg ha -1 , 47.8%). The average biomass production (sum of catch crops, volunteers and weeds) was highest in treatments with S. alba, R. sativus, and P. tanacetifolia and lowest in treatments with B. napus, L. multiflorum and L. perenne. It was demonstrated that an increase in the percentage share of volunteers caused a decrease in the biomass production of catch crops. The average energy production ranged from 0.31 to 2.37 MJ m -2 in treatments with catch crops, and from 0.25 to 0.89 MJ m -2 in treatments with cereal volunteers. The highest effectivity of global radiation utilization, was determined in treatments with S. alba (0.11-0.47%). Based on regression analysis the closest dependence between biomass production from all treatments on the experimental site and precipitation was observed from 1st May till the time of sowing and the average air temperatures from the sowing period till the time of the last biomass production assessment.

  16. Life cycle assessment of various cropping systems utilized for producing biofuels: Bioethanol and biodiesel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.

    2005-01-01

    A life cycle assessment of different cropping systems emphasizing corn and soybean production was performed, assuming that biomass from the cropping systems is utilized for producing biofuels (i.e., ethanol and biodiesel). The functional unit is defined as 1 ha of arable land producing biomass for biofuels to compare the environmental performance of the different cropping systems. The external functions are allocated by introducing alternative product systems (the system expansion allocation approach). Nonrenewable energy consumption, global warming impact, acidification and eutrophication are considered as potential environmental impacts and estimated by characterization factors given by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-TRACI). The benefits of corn stover removal are (1) lower nitrogen related environmental burdens from the soil, (2) higher ethanol production rate per unit arable land, and (3) energy recovery from lignin-rich fermentation residues, while the disadvantages of corn stover removal are a lower accumulation rate of soil organic carbon and higher fuel consumption in harvesting corn stover. Planting winter cover crops can compensate for some disadvantages (i.e., soil organic carbon levels and soil erosion) of removing corn stover. Cover crops also permit more corn stover to be harvested. Thus, utilization of corn stover and winter cover crops can improve the eco-efficiency of the cropping systems. When biomass from the cropping systems is utilized for biofuel production, all the cropping systems studied here offer environmental benefits in terms of nonrenewable energy consumption and global warming impact. Therefore utilizing biomass for biofuels would save nonrenewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gases. However, unless additional measures such as planting cover crops were taken, utilization of biomass for biofuels would also tend to increase acidification and eutrophication, primarily because large nitrogen (and phosphorus

  17. The phytoremediation potential of heavy metals from soil using Poaceae energy crops: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa PRELAC

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation is a method that use plants which can remove or stabilize pollutants in the environment. The aim of the polluted area remediation is to return ecosystems into original condition. Phytoremediation is a green technology used for a wide range of pollutants as well as on various lands, low costs and reduced environment impacts. Energy crops are relatively new in this field of researches and insufficiently explored. However, the results so far show their potential in heavy metal removal. The aim of this research was to examine the available literature and determine the phytoremediation potential of cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc from the soil using Arundo donax, Miscanthus x giganteus, Panicum virgatum, Pennisetum purpureum, Sida hermaphrodita and Sorghum x drummondii. According to the researches conditions, studied energy crops are reccomended in heavy metals phytoextraction, rhizofiltration, stabilization and accumulation. Still, those plants accumulate higher concentrations of heavy metals in the rhizosphere which makes them heavy metals excluders since heavy metals are not translocated into the plants' shoot system and favorable in the implementation of rhizofiltration as well.

  18. Requirement, balance and energy efficiency under two models of cropping systems in the center-south of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Martin; Barbera, Agustin; Hansson, Alejandro; Carrasco, Natalia; Domenech, Marisa

    2017-04-01

    In a natural ecosystem, the solar energy is the main source. However, in the agro ecosystem we should use others in order to sustain specific processes or to avoid some interactions. This energy is introduced in the agro-system not only as fossil fuel but also as inputs like fertilizers and pesticides or for agricultural machines. Since February 2011, two adjacent fields were set at Barrow Experimental Station (Lat:-38.322844, Lon:-60.25572): one of them adopting agro-ecology principles (AGROE), as biodiversity increase, polyculture with legumes, less use of agrochemicals; while the other one is based on industrial model of agriculture (ACTUAL). This model is defined by its capital intensity and dependence on massive inputs like seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides. In both fields, beef cattle and agriculture production have been implemented with different intensity. The aim of this study was to compare the demand, production, balance and energy efficiency between these two agro-systems. To do this, we use tables of energy associated with different processes and inputs. For both systems, we estimate the energetic demand used in seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and labor during the crop sequence from February 2011 to December 2015; the energy production according to grains and meat yield achieved; the energetic balance calculated as the difference between inputs and outputs of energy in the system and finally, the energy efficiency which is the ratio between the energy produced and consumed. Inputs-outputs ratios of energy were transformed into equivalent units = GJ (Gigajoules). After a sequence of seven crops, ACTUAL consumed 60 GJ, which represents 158% more energy than AGROE. Particularly, ACTUAL consumed a 72% more energy in cultivation labor, 372% more in herbicides and 10 times more energy used in fertilizers than AGROE. Even though ACTUAL produced 37% more energy than AGROE (187 GJ vs 127 GJ) in grain and meat, the energetic balance was only 12% higher. However

  19. Assessing energy efficiencies, economy, and global warming potential (GWP) effects of major crop production systems in Iran: a case study in East Azerbaijan province.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadzadeh, Arash; Mahdavi Damghani, Abdolmajid; Vafabakhsh, Javad; Deihimfard, Reza

    2017-07-01

    Efficient use of energy in farming systems is one of the most important implications for decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigating global warming (GW). This paper describes the energy use patterns, analyze the economics, and report global warming potential effects of major crop production systems in East Azerbaijan province, Iran. For this purpose, 110 farmers whose main activity was major crop production in the region, including wheat, barley, carrot, tomato, onion, potato, alfalfa, corn silage, canola, and saffron, were surveyed. Some other data was obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad of Iran. Results showed that, in terms of total energy input, onion (87,556 Mj ha -1 ) and potato (80,869 Mj ha -1 ) production systems were more energy-intensive than other crops. Among the studied crops, the highest values of net return (6563.8 $ ha -1 ) and benefit/cost ratio (1.95) were related to carrot and corn silage production systems, respectively. Studies have also shown that onion and saffron production systems emit the highest (5332.6 kg CO2eq ha -1 ) and lowest (646.24 kg CO 2 eq ha -1 ) CO 2 eq. emission, respectively. When it was averaged across crops, diesel fuel accounted for the greatest GHG contribution with 43% of the total, followed by electric power (28%) and nitrogen fertilizer (21%). In the present study, eco-efficiency was calculated as a ratio of the gross production value and global warming potential effect for the studied crops. Out of all the studied crops, the highest values of eco-efficiency were calculated to be 8.65 $ kg CO 2 eq -1 for the saffron production system followed by the carrot (3.65 $ kg CO 2 eq -1 ) production. Generally, from the aspect of energy balance and use efficiency, the alfalfa production system was the best; however, from an economical point of view, the carrot production system was better than the other crops.

  20. Biofuel crops with CAM photosynthesis: Economic potential on moisture-limited lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Mark; Hartzell, Samantha; Porporato, Amilcare

    2017-04-01

    As the demand for food and renewable energy increases, the intelligent utilization of marginal lands is becoming increasingly critical. In marginal lands classified by limited rainfall or soil salinity, the cultivation of traditional C3 and C4 photosynthesis crops often is economically infeasible. However, in such lands, nontraditional crops with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis show great economic potential for cultivation. CAM crops including Opuntia (prickly pear) and Ananas (pineapple) achieve a water use efficiency which is three fold higher than C4 crops such as corn and 6-fold higher than C3 crops such as wheat, leading to a comparable annual productivity with only 20% of the water demand. This feature, combined with a shallow rooting depth and a high water storage capacity, allows CAM plants to take advantage of small, infrequent rainfall amounts in shallow, quickly draining soils. Furthermore, CAM plants typically have properties (e.g., high content of non-structural carbohydrates) that are favorable for biofuel production. Here, for marginal lands characterized by low soil moisture availability and/or high salinity, we assess the potential productivity and economic benefits of CAM plants. CAM productivity is estimated using a recently developed model which simulates CAM photosynthesis under a range of soil and climate conditions. From these results, we compare the energy and water resource inputs required by CAM plants to those required by more traditional C3 and C4 crops (corn, wheat, sorghum), and we evaluate the economic potential of CAM crops as sources of food, fodder, or biofuel in marginal soils. As precipitation events become more intense and infrequent, we show that even though marginal land area may increase, CAM crop cultivation shows great promise for maintaining high productivity with minimal water inputs. Our analysis indicates that on marginal lands, widespread cultivation of CAM crops as biofuel feedstock may help

  1. Dynamic optimization of CELSS crop photosynthetic rate by computer-assisted feedback control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, C.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1997-01-01

    A procedure for dynamic optimization of net photosynthetic rate (Pn) for crop production in Controlled Ecological Life-Support Systems (CELSS) was developed using leaf lettuce as a model crop. Canopy Pn was measured in real time and fed back for environmental control. Setpoints of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) and CO_2 concentration for each hour of the crop-growth cycle were decided by computer to reach a targeted Pn each day. Decision making was based on empirical mathematical models combined with rule sets developed from recent experimental data. Comparisons showed that dynamic control resulted in better yield per unit energy input to the growth system than did static control. With comparable productivity parameters and potential for significant energy savings, dynamic control strategies will contribute greatly to the sustainability of space-deployed CELSS.

  2. Life cycle assessment of biogas production by monofermentation of energy crops and injection into the natural gas grid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jury, Colin; Benetto, Enrico; Koster, Daniel; Schmitt, Bianca; Welfring, Joelle

    2010-01-01

    The use of renewable energy is a possible solution to reduce the contribution to climate change of human activities. Nevertheless, there is much controversy about the non-climate related environmental impacts of renewable energy as compared to fossil energy. The aim of this study is to assess a new technology of biomethane production by monofermentation of cultivated crops. Based on the results of an attributional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), the contribution to climate change of biomethane production and injection into the grid is 30-40% (500a time horizon) or 10-20% (100a) lower than the contribution of natural gas importation. The reduction depends mainly on the biogas yield, the amount of readily available nitrogen in the digestate and the type of agricultural practices. Nevertheless, the natural gas definitively generates far lower ecosystem quality and human health damages than the biomethane production. Farming activities have the most important contribution to the damages mainly because of land occupation and the use of fertilizer. The main improvement opportunities highlighted are: the increase of biogas yield, the choice of good agricultural practices and the cultivation of winter or summer crops exclusively. Future research should include the emission and sequestration of CO 2 from soil. The ripple effects related to the total increase of farming area and the consequences of farming activities on the food production chain should be addressed as well. To this aim, the switch to consequential LCA is a critical challenge, from both the methodological and application point of view, to support decision-making. (author)

  3. Greenhouse crop residues: Energy potential and models for the prediction of their higher heating value

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callejon-Ferre, A.J.; Lopez-Martinez, J.A.; Manzano-Agugliaro, F. [Departamento de Ingenieria Rural, Universidad de Almeria, Ctra. Sacramento s/n, La Canada de San Urbano, 04120 Almeria (Spain); Velazquez-Marti, B. [Departamento de Ingenieria Rural y Agroalimentaria, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia (Spain)

    2011-02-15

    Almeria, in southeastern Spain, generates some 1,086,261 t year{sup -1} (fresh weight) of greenhouse crop (Cucurbita pepo L., Cucumis sativus L., Solanum melongena L., Solanum lycopersicum L., Phaseoulus vulgaris L., Capsicum annuum L., Citrillus vulgaris Schrad. and Cucumis melo L.) residues. The energy potential of this biomass is unclear. The aim of the present work was to accurately quantify this variable, differentiating between crop species while taking into consideration the area they each occupy. This, however, required the direct analysis of the higher heating value (HHV) of these residues, involving very expensive and therefore not commonly available equipment. Thus, a further aim was to develop models for predicting the HHV of these residues, taking into account variables measured by elemental and/or proximate analysis, thus providing an economically attractive alternative to direct analysis. All the analyses in this work involved the use of worldwide-recognised standards and methods. The total energy potential for these plant residues, as determined by direct analysis, was 1,003,497.49 MW h year{sup -1}. Twenty univariate and multivariate equations were developed to predict the HHV. The R{sup 2} and adjusted R{sup 2} values obtained for the univariate and multivariate models were 0.909 and 0.946 or above respectively. In all cases, the mean absolute percentage error varied between 0.344 and 2.533. These results show that any of these 20 equations could be used to accurately predict the HHV of crop residues. The residues produced by the Almeria greenhouse industry would appear to be an interesting source of renewable energy. (author)

  4. An optimal staggered harvesting strategy for herbaceous biomass energy crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhat, M.G.; English, B.C. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Biofuel research over the past two decades indicates lignocellulosic crops are a reliable source of feedstock for alternative energy. However, under the current technology of producing, harvesting and converting biomass crops, the cost of biofuel is not competitive with conventional biofuel. Cost of harvesting biomass feedstock is a single largest component of feedstock cost so there is a cost advantage in designing a biomass harvesting system. Traditional farmer-initiated harvesting operation causes over investment. This study develops a least-cost, time-distributed (staggered) harvesting system for example switch grass, that calls for an effective coordination between farmers, processing plant and a single third-party custom harvester. A linear programming model explicitly accounts for the trade-off between yield loss and benefit of reduced machinery overhead cost, associated with the staggered harvesting system. Total cost of producing and harvesting switch grass will decline by 17.94 percent from conventional non-staggered to proposed staggered harvesting strategy. Harvesting machinery cost alone experiences a significant reduction of 39.68 percent from moving from former to latter. The net return to farmers is estimated to increase by 160.40 percent. Per tonne and per hectare costs of feedstock production will decline by 17.94 percent and 24.78 percent, respectively. These results clearly lend support to the view that the traditional system of single period harvesting calls for over investment on agricultural machinery which escalates the feedstock cost. This social loss to the society in the form of escalated harvesting cost can be avoided if there is a proper coordination among farmers, processing plant and custom harvesters as to when and how biomass crop needs to be planted and harvested. Such an institutional arrangement benefits producers, processing plant and, in turn, end users of biofuels.

  5. The hydrological impacts of energy crop production in the UK. Final report

    OpenAIRE

    Finch, J. W.; Hall, R. L.; Rosier, P. T. W.; Clark, D. B.; Stratford, C.; Davies, H. N.; Marsh, T. J.; Roberts, J. M.; Riche, A.; Christian, D.

    2004-01-01

    This report describes the work carried out between March 2002 and January 2004 under ETSU Contract number B/CR/000783/00/00 by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford. It also describes the results of measurements made by Rothamsted Research staff under a sub-contract. The objectives of this work are: 1. To determine the effects on water availability at the catchment and sub-catchment scale, of production of energy crops, across England and Wales. 2. To indicate areas where...

  6. Report of the workshop 'State of the art of Energy Crops Cultivation', 29 April 1998

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gigler, J.K.

    1998-06-01

    The presentations (mainly copies of overhead sheets) of the title workshop are given. Technical (supply, transport and logistics), economical (cost price, market, and financing), environmental (life cycle analysis, biodiversity and physical planning), and other aspects (regulations, Bioguide and combined cultivation) with respect to the production of energy crops were discussed

  7. Economic analysis of biomass crop production in Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahmani, M.; Hodges, A.W.; Stricker, J.A.; Kiker, C.F. [University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1997-07-01

    Favorable soil and climate conditions for production of biomass crops in Florida, and a market for their use, provide the essentials for developing a biomass energy system in the State. Recent surveys showed that there is low opportunity cost land available and several high yield herbaceous and woody crops have potential as biomass crops. Comparison of biomass crop yields, farmgate costs, and costs of final products in Florida and other states show that Florida can be considered as one of the best areas for development of biomass energy systems in the United States. This paper presents facts and figures on biomass production and conversion in Florida and addresses issues of concern to the economics of biomass energy in the State. (author)

  8. Economic analysis of biomass crop production in Florida

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahmani, M.; Hodges, A.W.; Stricker, J.A.; Kiker, C.F.

    1997-01-01

    Favorable soil and climate conditions for production of biomass crops in Florida, and a market for their use, provide the essentials for developing a biomass energy system in the State. Recent surveys showed that there is low opportunity cost land available and several high yield herbaceous and woody crops have potential as biomass crops. Comparison of biomass crop yields, farmgate costs, and costs of final products in Florida and other states show that Florida can be considered as one of the best areas for development of biomass energy systems in the United States. This paper presents facts and figures on biomass production and conversion in Florida and addresses issues of concern to the economics of biomass energy in the State. (author)

  9. Calculation methodology for economic comparison between different land uses. With focus on comparisons between energy crops and traditional crops; Kalkylmetodik foer loensamhetsjaemfoerelser mellan olika markanvaendning. Med fokus paa jaemfoerelser mellan energigroedor och traditionella groedor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosenqvist, Haakan

    2010-02-15

    There are two main objectives to this report. The first is to describe a calculation method for both short- and long-term analysis of crops, as well as present the basis and reasoning around it. Another objective is to create an approach that lay-people can use to compare energy crops with traditional crops in a sufficiently straight-forward and believable manner. The report describes, discusses and develops the technical aspects to the calculation questions around the analysis of crops that are grown only on small area of land today, but have the potential to be grown on much larger areas in the future. The variable costing calculation approach is used in agriculture as decision-support for what should be produced. The present variable costing calculation approach has been reworked and redeveloped in order to be more applicable as a decision-support tool. This includes its use to decide which crop should be grown in both short- and long-term perspectives, as well as for perennial energy crops. A number of items that impact growing economy and how they can be interpreted in the growing calculations are discussed. Some of the examples are: Fertilization effects; Sales commissions/product prices; Storage/reestablishment; Fertilization of P and K; Crop insurance; Labor costs; Machine costs; Timeliness costs; New production chains and unutilized resources; Interest rates; Land costs; Over overhead costs; and Costs which not are annual. The main objective of this report is a methodological question and not to show the absolute profitability for each particular land use alternative. But even though the calculations have been improved for different land uses, there is material that that can even be used for profitability analyses. This has been performed to a smaller degree in this report. The profitability of Salix growing has been studied for a variety of different conditions. For part of the studies have used the entire growing period of 22 years, part with

  10. BIOGAS PRODUCTION FROM CATCH CROPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molinuevo-Salces, Beatriz; Larsen, Søren U.; Ahring, Birgitte Kiær

    2014-01-01

    -substrate in manure-based biogas plants and the profit obtained from the sale of biogas barely compensates for the harvest costs. A new agricultural strategy to harvest catch crops together with the residual straw of the main crop was investigated to increase the biomass and thereby the methane yield per hectare......Catch crop cultivation combined with its use for biogas production would increase renewable energy production in the form of methane, without interfering with the production of food and fodder crops. The low biomass yield of catch crops is the main limiting factor for using these crops as co...... biomass. Leaving the straw on the field until harvest of the catch crop in the autumn could benefit biogas production due to the organic matter degradation of the straw taking place on the field during the autumn months. This new agricultural strategy may be a good alternative to achieve economically...

  11. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1995-12-31

    The environmental costs and benefits of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in kterms of the relative effects on soil, water, and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Dept. of Energy`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a perennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), as a bioenergy candidate. This choice was based on its high yields, high nutrient use efficiency, and wide geographic distribution, and also on its poistive environmental attributes. The latter include its positive effects on soil quality and stabiity, its cover value for wildlife, and the lower inputs of enerty, water, and agrochemicals required per unit of energy produced. A comparison of the energy budgets for corn, which is the primary current source of bioethanol, and switchgrass reveals that the efficiency of energy production for a perennial grass system can exceed that for an energy intensive annual row crop by as much as 15 times. In additions reductions in CO{sub 2} emission, tied to the energetic efficiency of producing transportation fuels, are very efficient with grasses. Calculated carbon sequestration rates may exceed those of annual crops by as much as 20--30 times, due in part to carbon storage in the soil. These differences have major implications for both the rate and efficiency with which fossil energy sources can be replaced with cleaner burning biofuels.

  12. Renewable energy from pyrolysis using crops and agricultural residuals: An economic and environmental evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kung, Chih-Chun; Zhang, Ning

    2015-01-01

    This study examines pyrolysis-based electricity generation and ethanol production using various crops and agricultural residuals in Taiwan. It analyzes the net economic and environmental effects within the framework of the Extended Taiwanese Agricultural Sector Model by incorporating ongoing and potential gasoline, coal and GHG (greenhouse gas) prices. The study discusses the effects of agricultural shifts, which have several important implications for the Taiwanese bioenergy development. First, the cost of collecting rice straw is much lower than the production cost of other energy crops, implying that the efficient use of agricultural waste may eventually result in positive social effects in terms of farmers' revenue, the renewable energy supply and GHG emissions offset. Second, farmers with idle land usually suffer a lower steady income. Encouraging the development of the renewable energy industry increases the demand of raw feedstocks, which involves converting the idle land into cultivation and increasing farmers' revenue. Third, agricultural waste is usually burned and emits CO_2, which accelerates the global climate shift. Approximately one third of emissions could be offset by rice straw-based bioenergy in certain cases. Turning this waste into bioenergy, which offsets net GHG emissions, has positive effects on the climate change mitigation. - Highlights: • Pyrolyzing rice straw provides considerable energy supply (max 4.68 billion kWh). • High emission offset when combined with rice straw (max 2.73 million tons). • Affordable government subsidy ($204 million a year). • Collection and transportation costs of wastes could impact the result significantly.

  13. Determine metrics and set targets for soil quality on agriculture residue and energy crop pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ian Bonner; David Muth

    2013-09-01

    There are three objectives for this project: 1) support OBP in meeting MYPP stated performance goals for the Sustainability Platform, 2) develop integrated feedstock production system designs that increase total productivity of the land, decrease delivered feedstock cost to the conversion facilities, and increase environmental performance of the production system, and 3) deliver to the bioenergy community robust datasets and flexible analysis tools for establishing sustainable and viable use of agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops. The key project outcome to date has been the development and deployment of a sustainable agricultural residue removal decision support framework. The modeling framework has been used to produce a revised national assessment of sustainable residue removal potential. The national assessment datasets are being used to update national resource assessment supply curves using POLYSIS. The residue removal modeling framework has also been enhanced to support high fidelity sub-field scale sustainable removal analyses. The framework has been deployed through a web application and a mobile application. The mobile application is being used extensively in the field with industry, research, and USDA NRCS partners to support and validate sustainable residue removal decisions. The results detailed in this report have set targets for increasing soil sustainability by focusing on primary soil quality indicators (total organic carbon and erosion) in two agricultural residue management pathways and a dedicated energy crop pathway. The two residue pathway targets were set to, 1) increase residue removal by 50% while maintaining soil quality, and 2) increase soil quality by 5% as measured by Soil Management Assessment Framework indicators. The energy crop pathway was set to increase soil quality by 10% using these same indicators. To demonstrate the feasibility and impact of each of these targets, seven case studies spanning the US are presented

  14. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1995-01-01

    The environmental costs and benefits of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in kterms of the relative effects on soil, water, and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Dept. of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a perennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), as a bioenergy candidate. This choice was based on its high yields, high nutrient use efficiency, and wide geographic distribution, and also on its poistive environmental attributes. The latter include its positive effects on soil quality and stabiity, its cover value for wildlife, and the lower inputs of enerty, water, and agrochemicals required per unit of energy produced. A comparison of the energy budgets for corn, which is the primary current source of bioethanol, and switchgrass reveals that the efficiency of energy production for a perennial grass system can exceed that for an energy intensive annual row crop by as much as 15 times. In additions reductions in CO 2 emission, tied to the energetic efficiency of producing transportation fuels, are very efficient with grasses. Calculated carbon sequestration rates may exceed those of annual crops by as much as 20--30 times, due in part to carbon storage in the soil. These differences have major implications for both the rate and efficiency with which fossil energy sources can be replaced with cleaner burning biofuels

  15. Estimating yield gaps at the cropping system level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilpart, Nicolas; Grassini, Patricio; Sadras, Victor O; Timsina, Jagadish; Cassman, Kenneth G

    2017-05-01

    Yield gap analyses of individual crops have been used to estimate opportunities for increasing crop production at local to global scales, thus providing information crucial to food security. However, increases in crop production can also be achieved by improving cropping system yield through modification of spatial and temporal arrangement of individual crops. In this paper we define the cropping system yield potential as the output from the combination of crops that gives the highest energy yield per unit of land and time, and the cropping system yield gap as the difference between actual energy yield of an existing cropping system and the cropping system yield potential. Then, we provide a framework to identify alternative cropping systems which can be evaluated against the current ones. A proof-of-concept is provided with irrigated rice-maize systems at four locations in Bangladesh that represent a range of climatic conditions in that country. The proposed framework identified (i) realistic alternative cropping systems at each location, and (ii) two locations where expected improvements in crop production from changes in cropping intensity (number of crops per year) were 43% to 64% higher than from improving the management of individual crops within the current cropping systems. The proposed framework provides a tool to help assess food production capacity of new systems ( e.g. with increased cropping intensity) arising from climate change, and assess resource requirements (water and N) and associated environmental footprint per unit of land and production of these new systems. By expanding yield gap analysis from individual crops to the cropping system level and applying it to new systems, this framework could also be helpful to bridge the gap between yield gap analysis and cropping/farming system design.

  16. Carbon Sequestration by Perennial Energy Crops: Is the Jury Still Out?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostini, Francesco; Gregory, Andrew S; Richter, Goetz M

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) changes associated with land conversion to energy crops are central to the debate on bioenergy and their potential carbon neutrality. Here, the experimental evidence on SOC under perennial energy crops (PECs) is synthesised to parameterise a whole systems model and to identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps determining PECs being a sink or source of greenhouse gas (GHG). For Miscanthus and willow ( Salix spp.) and their analogues (switchgrass, poplar), we examine carbon (C) allocation to above- and belowground residue inputs, turnover rates and retention in the soil. A meta-analysis showed that studies on dry matter partitioning and C inputs to soils are plentiful, whilst data on turnover are rare and rely on few isotopic C tracer studies. Comprehensive studies on SOC dynamics and GHG emissions under PECs are limited and subsoil processes and C losses through leaching remain unknown. Data showed dynamic changes of gross C inputs and SOC stocks depending on stand age. C inputs and turnover can now be specifically parameterised in whole PEC system models, whilst dependencies on soil texture, moisture and temperature remain empirical. In conclusion, the annual net SOC storage change exceeds the minimum mitigation requirement (0.25 Mg C ha -1 year -1 ) under herbaceous and woody perennials by far (1.14 to 1.88 and 0.63 to 0.72 Mg C ha -1 year -1 , respectively). However, long-term time series of field data are needed to verify sustainable SOC enrichment, as the physical and chemical stabilities of SOC pools remain uncertain, although they are essential in defining the sustainability of C sequestration (half-life >25 years).

  17. Seasonal nutrient dynamics and biomass quality of giant reed (Arundo donax L. and miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deuter as energy crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoletta Nassi o Di Nasso

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The importance of energy crops in displacing fossil fuels within the energy sector in Europe is growing. Among energy crops, the use of perennial rhizomatous grasses (PRGs seems promising owing to their high productivity and their nutrient recycling that occurs during senescence. In particular, nutrient requirements and biomass quality have a fundamental relevance to biomass systems efficiency. The objective of our study was to compare giant reed (Arundo donax L. and miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deuter in terms of nutrient requirements and cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin content. This aim was to identify, in the Mediterranean environment, the optimal harvest time that may combine, beside a high biomass yield, high nutrient use efficiency and a good biomass quality for second generation biofuel production. The research was carried out in 2009, in San Piero a Grado, Pisa (Central Italy; latitude 43°41’ N, longitude 10°21’ E, on seven-year-old crops in a loam soil characterised by good water availability. Maximum above-ground nutrient contents were generally found in summer. Subsequently, a decrease was recorded; this suggested a nutrient remobilisation from above-ground biomass to rhizomes. In addition, miscanthus showed the highest N, P, and K use efficiency, probably related to its higher yield and its C4 pathway. Regarding biomass quality, stable values of cellulose (38%, hemicelluloses (25% and lignin (8% were reported from July onwards in both crops. Hence, these components appear not to be discriminative parameters in the choice of the harvest time in the Mediterranean environment. In conclusion, our results highlighted that, in our environment, a broad harvest period (from late autumn to winter seems suitable for these PRGs. However, further research is required to evaluate the role of rhizomes in nutrient storage and supply during the growing season, as well as ecological and productive performances in marginal

  18. Energy budget and greenhouse gas balance evaluation of sustainable coppice systems for electricity production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lettens, Suzanna; Muys, Bart; Ceulemans, Reinhart; Moons, Ellen; Garcia, Juan; Coppin, Pol

    2003-01-01

    The use of bio-energy crops for electricity production is considered an effective means to mitigate the greenhouse effect, mainly due to its ability to substitute fossil fuels. A whole range of crops qualify for bio-energy production and a rational choice is not readily made. This paper evaluates the energy and greenhouse gas balance of a mixed indigenous hardwood coppice as an extensive, low-input bio-energy crop. The impact on fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emission is calculated and discussed by comparing its life cycle (cultivation, processing and conversion into energy) with two conventional bio-energy crops (short rotation systems of willow and Miscanthus). For each life cycle process, the flows of fossil energy and greenhouse gas that are created for the production of one functional unit are calculated. The results show that low-input bio-energy crops use comparatively less fossil fuel and avoid more greenhouse gas emission per unit of produced energy than conventional bio-energy crops during the first 100 yr. Where the mixed coppice system avoids up till 0.13 t CO 2 eq./GJ, Miscanthus does not exceed 0.07 t CO 2 eq./GJ. After 100 yr their performances become comparable, amounting to 0.05 t CO 2 eq./ha/GJ. However, if the land surface itself is chosen as a functional unit, conventional crops perform better with respect to mitigating the greenhouse effect. Miscanthus avoids a maximum of 12.9 t CO 2 eq./ha/yr, while mixed coppice attains 9.5 t CO 2 eq./ha/yr at the most

  19. Policy-Led Comparative Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Crops: Testing for Increased Risk Rather Than Profiling Phenotypes Leads to Predictable and Transparent Decision-Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Raybould

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We describe two contrasting methods of comparative environmental risk assessment for genetically modified (GM crops. Both are science-based, in the sense that they use science to help make decisions, but they differ in the relationship between science and policy. Policy-led comparative risk assessment begins by defining what would be regarded as unacceptable changes when the use a particular GM crop replaces an accepted use of another crop. Hypotheses that these changes will not occur are tested using existing or new data, and corroboration or falsification of the hypotheses is used to inform decision-making. Science-led comparative risk assessment, on the other hand, tends to test null hypotheses of no difference between a GM crop and a comparator. The variables that are compared may have little or no relevance to any previously stated policy objective and hence decision-making tends to be ad hoc in response to possibly spurious statistical significance. We argue that policy-led comparative risk assessment is the far more effective method. With this in mind, we caution that phenotypic profiling of GM crops, particularly with omics methods, is potentially detrimental to risk assessment.

  20. Potential Air Quality Impacts of Global Bioenergy Crop Cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, W. C.; Rosenstiel, T. N.; Barsanti, K. C.

    2012-12-01

    The use of bioenergy crops as a replacement for traditional coal-powered electricity generation will require large-scale land-use change, and the resulting changes in emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) may have negative impacts on local to regional air quality. BVOCs contribute to the formation of both ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), with magnitudes of specific compound emissions governed largely by plant speciation and land coverage. For this reason, large-scale land-use change has the potential to markedly alter regional O3 and PM2.5 levels, especially if there are large differences between the emission profiles of the replacement bioenergy crops (many of which are high BVOC emitters) and the previous crops or land cover. In this work, replacement areas suitable for the cultivation of the bioenergy crops switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and giant reed (Arundo donax) were selected based on existing global inventories of under-utilized cropland and local climatological conditions. These two crops are among the most popular current candidates for bioenergy production, and provide contrasting examples of energy densities and emissions profiles. While giant reed has been selected in an ongoing large-scale coal-to-biocharcoal conversion in the Northwestern United States due to its high crop yields and energy density, it is also among the highest biogenic emitters of isoprene. On the other hand, switchgrass produces less biomass per acre, but also emits essentially no isoprene and low total BVOCs. The effects of large-scale conversion to these crops on O3 and PM2.5 were simulated using version 1.1 of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) coupled with version 2.1 of the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN). By comparing crop replacement scenarios involving A. donax and P. virgatum, the sensitivities of O3 and PM2.5 levels to worldwide increases in bioenergy production were examined, providing an initial

  1. N2O and CH4-emissions from energy crops - Can the use of organic fertilizers in form of biogas digestate be considered as a real alternative? Results from a three and a half year multi-site field study of energy crops fertilized with biogas digestate in so

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heintze, Gawan

    2016-04-01

    Gawan Heintze1,2, Matthias Drösler1, Ulrike Hagemann3and Jürgen Augustin3 1University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Chair of Vegetation Ecology, Weihenstephaner Berg 4, 85354 Freising, Germany 2Technische Universität München, Chair of Plant Nutrition, Emil-Ramann-Str. 2, 85354 Freising, Germany 3Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Straße 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany Together with industrial process-related emissions (8.1%) the actual GHG emissions from agriculture (7.5% - 70 million tones (Mt) of carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalents) representing after energy-related emissions from combustion processes of fossil fuels (83.7%) the second largest budget of the Germany-wide total emissions per year. To reduce the EU's CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 the cultivation of energy crops for biogas production, ideally coupled to a subsequent return of the resulting residues in form of biogas digestate is intended as one key element in the pathway of renewable energy production. Despite an increasing cultivation of energy crops for the production of biogas aiming to reduce the overall climate impact of the agricultural sector, it is still largely unknown how the application of ammonia-rich organic digestate effects field N2O emissions. Therefore, the collaborative research project "potential for reducing the release of climate-relevant trace gases in the cultivation of energy crops for the production of biogas" was launched. The main objective of the study was to determine an improved process understanding and to quantify the influence of mineral nitrogen fertilization, biogas digestate application, crop type and crop rotation, to gain precise and generalizable statements on the exchange of trace gases like nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) on the resulting climate impact. Gas fluxes of N2O and CH4 were measured for three and a half years on two differently managed sites in maize monoculture with different applied organic

  2. Environmental assessment of two different crop systems in terms of biomethane potential production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacenetti, Jacopo; Fusi, Alessandra; Negri, Marco; Guidetti, Riccardo; Fiala, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The interest in renewable energy sources has gained great importance in Europe due to the need to reduce fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as required by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) of the European Parliament. The production of energy from energy crops appears to be consistent with RED. The environmental impact related to this kind of energy primarily originates from crop cultivation. This research aimed to evaluate the environmental impact of different crop systems for biomass production: single and double crop. The environmental performances of maize and maize plus wheat were assessed from a life cycle perspective. Two alternative scenarios considering different yields, crop management, and climatic conditions, were also addressed. One normal cubic metre of potential methane was chosen as a functional unit. Methane potential production data were obtained through lab experimental tests. For both of the crop systems, the factors that have the greatest influence on the overall environmental burden are: fertilizer emissions, diesel fuel emissions, diesel fuel production, and pesticide production. Notwithstanding the greater level of methane potential production, the double crop system appears to have the worse environmental performance with respect to its single crop counterpart. This result is due to the bigger quantity of inputs needed for the double crop system. Therefore, the greater amount of biomass (silage) obtained through the double crop system is less than proportional to the environmental burden that results from the bigger quantity of inputs requested for double crop. - Highlights: • Environmental impact of two crop systems was evaluated • Biomethane specific production tests were carried out • Alternative scenarios (different yields and crop management) were assessed • Maize single crop obtains the better environmental performance • Critical factors are: fertilizer and diesel fuel emissions and diesel fuel

  3. Environmental assessment of two different crop systems in terms of biomethane potential production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bacenetti, Jacopo; Fusi, Alessandra, E-mail: alessandra.fusi@unimi.it; Negri, Marco; Guidetti, Riccardo; Fiala, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The interest in renewable energy sources has gained great importance in Europe due to the need to reduce fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as required by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) of the European Parliament. The production of energy from energy crops appears to be consistent with RED. The environmental impact related to this kind of energy primarily originates from crop cultivation. This research aimed to evaluate the environmental impact of different crop systems for biomass production: single and double crop. The environmental performances of maize and maize plus wheat were assessed from a life cycle perspective. Two alternative scenarios considering different yields, crop management, and climatic conditions, were also addressed. One normal cubic metre of potential methane was chosen as a functional unit. Methane potential production data were obtained through lab experimental tests. For both of the crop systems, the factors that have the greatest influence on the overall environmental burden are: fertilizer emissions, diesel fuel emissions, diesel fuel production, and pesticide production. Notwithstanding the greater level of methane potential production, the double crop system appears to have the worse environmental performance with respect to its single crop counterpart. This result is due to the bigger quantity of inputs needed for the double crop system. Therefore, the greater amount of biomass (silage) obtained through the double crop system is less than proportional to the environmental burden that results from the bigger quantity of inputs requested for double crop. - Highlights: • Environmental impact of two crop systems was evaluated • Biomethane specific production tests were carried out • Alternative scenarios (different yields and crop management) were assessed • Maize single crop obtains the better environmental performance • Critical factors are: fertilizer and diesel fuel emissions and diesel fuel

  4. Comparative analysis of women's contribution to food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Women in Nigeria form a significant part of the population and are practically involved in agricultural activities. Based on the involvement of women in agriculture and in the rural economies of Nigeria, this study evaluates the contribution of women to food crop production. This is to establish knowledge about what farm ...

  5. Enhanced biogas yield from energy crops with rumen anaerobic fungi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prochazka, Jindrich; Zabranska, Jana; Dohanyos, Michal [Department of Water Technology and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Environmental Technology, Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, Prague (Czech Republic); Mrazek, Jakub; Strosova, Lenka; Fliegerova, Katerina [Laboratory of Anaerobic Microbiology, Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics, CAS, v.v.i., Prague (Czech Republic)

    2012-06-15

    Anaerobic fungi (AF) are able to degrade crop substrates with higher efficiency than commonly used anaerobic bacteria. The aim of this study was to investigate ways of use of rumen AF to improve biogas production from energy crops under laboratory conditions. In this study, strains of AF isolated from feces or rumen fluid of cows and deer were tested for their ability to integrate into the anaerobic bacterial ecosystem used for biogas production, in order to improve degradation of substrate polysaccharides and consequently the biogas yield. Batch culture, fed batch culture, and semicontinuous experiments have been performed using anaerobic sludge from pig slurry fermentation and different kinds of substrates (celluloses, maize, and grass silage) inoculated by different genera of AF. All experiments showed a positive effect of AF on the biogas yield and quality. AF improved the biogas production by 4-22%, depending on the substrate and AF species used. However, all the cultivation experiments indicated that rumen fungi do not show long-term survival in fermenters with digestate from pig slurry. The best results were achieved during fed batch experiment with fungal culture Anaeromyces (KF8), in which biogas production was enhanced during the whole experimental period of 140 days. This result has not been achieved in semicontinuous experiment, where increment in biogas production in fungal enriched reactor was only 4% after 42 days. (copyright 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  6. Carbon footprints of crops from organic and conventional arable crop rotations – using a life cycle assessment approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Meyer-Aurich, A; Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    Many current organic arable agriculture systems are challenged by a dependency on imported livestock manure from conventional agriculture. At the same time organic agriculture aims at being climate friendly. A life cycle assessment is used in this paper to compare the carbon footprints of different....... The results showed significantly lower carbon footprint of the crops from the ‘Biogas’ rotation (assuming that biogas replaces fossil gas) whereas the remaining crop rotations had comparable carbon footprints per kg cash crop. The study showed considerable contributions caused by the green manure crop (grass......-clover) and highlights the importance of analysing the whole crop rotation and including soil carbon changes when estimating carbon footprints of organic crops especially where green manure crops are included....

  7. A trial burn of rape straw and whole crops harvested for energy use to assess efficiency implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newman, R.

    2003-11-01

    Increased biomass utilisation and alternatives to cereal straw such as oil seed rape (OSR) straw will be necessary to achieve the Government's renewable energy targets. This report describes the results of a study to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of burning OSR straw and whole crops in an existing biomass power plant operated by EPR Ely Ltd in comparison with conventional cereal straw. Suitable quantities of bales of each fuel were provided for the combustion trials by Anglian Straw Ltd. Three trials were conducted: one using wheat-based cereal straw; one using 92% OSR; and one using 65% whole crop fuel. The availability of OSR straw and whole crop in Eastern England for use as fuel was also determined. Plant performance and stack emissions were evaluated and samples of delivered crop samples, bottom ash and fly ash from each trial were analysed. The parameters against which performance was assessed included: ease of handling and conveying; ease of chopping; ease of entry into the combustion chamber; furnace temperature profile; steam and electricity production rate; plant chimney emissions; ash collection and removal; operating stability; sustainability; and fuel availability.

  8. Perspective of energy cropping on polluted areas for the energy production in Holland; Perspectief van energieteelt op verontreinigde terreinen voor de energie-opwekking in Nederland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vermeulen, G D [DLO Instituut voor Milieu- en Agritechniek IMAG-DLO, Wageningen (Netherlands); Harmsen, J [DLO Staring Centrum SC-DLO, Wageningen (Netherlands); Castilho, P del [DLO Instituut voor Agrobiologisch en Bodemvruchtbaarheidsonderzoek AB-DLO, Haren (Netherlands); Ligthart, F [Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland ECN, Petten (Netherlands)

    1998-05-01

    The targets set by the Dutch government for the use of sustainable energy sources in 2020 include the use of locally-grown biomass to replace part of the fossil fuels used now. However, the costs of locally-grown biomass, are high compared with fossil fuels and imported biomass. The objective of this project was to investigate the potential of utilising cheap, polluted locations and/or combining energy cropping with other forms of land use, such as nature development or remediation of contaminated dredged sediments, for biomass production for energy in the Netherlands. It was estimated that about 15,000 ha could become available for these low-cost biomass production options on short term, equivalent to 42% of the locally-grown biomass target in the year 2020. The costs on a caloric basis, without subsidies, would be roughly 1-2 times the costs of coal. Depending on future policies, the low-cost biomass production area could be extended to a total of 26,500 ha, equivalent to 73% of the locally-grown biomass target in the year 2020. The available literature indicates that soil pollution has little effect on biomass yield. Expected heavy metal concentrations in the biomass do not negatively affect its energy conversion properties and the currently practised re-use of the fly-ash of co-fired powder coal plants in cement and concrete. The study also revealed strong indications that the heavy metals in biomass are concentrated in a low volume ash-stream when gasification technology is used for conversion. This might offer opportunities for phytoremediation of polluted soils. 42 refs.

  9. A bioenergy feedstock/vegetable double-cropping system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Certain warm-season vegetable crops may lend themselves to bioenergy double-cropping systems, which involve growing a winter annual bioenergy feedstock crop followed by a summer annual crop. The objective of the study was to compare crop productivity and weed communities in different pumpkin product...

  10. Energy balance in rainfed herbaceous crops in a semiarid environment for a 15-year experiment. 1. Impact of farming systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, M. M.; Moreno, C.; Lacasta, C.; Tarquis, A. M.; Meco, R.

    2012-04-01

    During the last years, agricultural practices have led to increase yields by means of the massive consumption on non-renewable fossil energy. However, the viability of a production system does not depend solely on crop yield, but also on its efficiency in the use of available resources. This work is part of a larger study assessing the effects of three farming systems (conventional, conservation with zero tillage, and organic) and four barley-based crop rotations (barley monoculture and in rotation with vetch, sunflower and fallow) on the energy balance of crop production under the semi-arid conditions over a 15 year period. However, the present work is focused on the farming system effect, so crop rotations and years are averaged. Experiments were conducted at "La Higueruela" Experimental Farm (4°26' W, 40°04' N, altitude 450 m) (Spanish National Research Council, Santa Olalla, Toledo, central Spain). The climate is semi-arid Mediterranean, with an average seasonal rainfall of 480 mm irregularly distributed and a 4-month summer drought period. Conventional farming included the use of moldboard plow for tillage, chemical fertilizers and herbicides. Conservation farming was developed with zero tillage, direct sowing and chemical fertilizers and herbicides. Organic farming included the use of cultivator and no chemical fertilizers or herbicides. The energy balance method used required the identification and quantification of all the inputs and outputs implied, and the conversion to energy values by corresponding coefficients. The parameters considered were (i) energy inputs (EI) (diesel, machines, fertilizers, herbicides, seeds) (ii) energy outputs (EO) (energy in the harvested biomass), (iii) net energy produced (NE) (EI - EO), (iv) the energy output/input ratio (O/I), and (v) energy productivity (EP) (Crop yield/EI). EI was 3.0 and 3.5 times higher in conservation (10.4 GJ ha-1 year-1) and conventional (11.7 GJ ha-1 year-1) than in organic farming (3.41 GJ ha-1

  11. High yielding tropical energy crops for bioenergy production: Effects of plant components, harvest years and locations on biomass composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surendra, K C; Ogoshi, Richard; Zaleski, Halina M; Hashimoto, Andrew G; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2018-03-01

    The composition of lignocellulosic feedstock, which depends on crop type, crop management, locations and plant parts, significantly affects the conversion efficiency of biomass into biofuels and biobased products. Thus, this study examined the composition of different parts of two high yielding tropical energy crops, Energycane and Napier grass, collected across three locations and years. Significantly higher fiber content was found in the leaves of Energycane than stems, while fiber content was significantly higher in the stems than the leaves of Napier grass. Similarly, fiber content was higher in Napier grass than Energycane. Due to significant differences in biomass composition between the plant parts within a crop type, neither biological conversion, including anaerobic digestion, nor thermochemical pretreatment alone is likely to efficiently convert biomass components into biofuels and biobased products. However, combination of anaerobic digestion with thermochemical conversion technologies could efficiently utilize biomass components in generating biofuels and biobased products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A Comparative Nitrogen Balance and Productivity Analysis of Legume and Non-legume Supported Cropping Systems: The Potential Role of Biological Nitrogen Fixation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iannetta, Pietro P M; Young, Mark; Bachinger, Johann

    2016-01-01

    studies have systematically evaluated the effect of optimizing the balance between legumes and non N-fixing crops to optimize production. In addition, the shortage, or even absence in some regions, of measurements of BNF in crops and forages severely limits the ability to design and evaluate new legume......–based agroecosystems. To provide an indication of the magnitude of BNF in European agriculture, a soil-surface N-balance approach was applied to historical data from 8 experimental cropping systems that compared legume and non-legume crop types (e.g., grains, forages and intercrops) across pedoclimatic regions...... the crop sequence, the contribution of BNF to the N-balance increased to reach a maximum when the legume fraction was around 0.5 (legume crops were present in half the years). BNF was lower when the legume fraction increased to 0.6–0.8, not because of any feature of the legume, but because the cropping...

  13. Capacity of biochar application to maintain energy crop productivity: soil chemistry, sorghum growth, and runoff water quality effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, Ronnie W; Vietor, Donald M; Provin, Tony L; Munster, Clyde L; Capareda, Sergio

    2012-01-01

    Pyrolysis of crop biomass generates a by-product, biochar, which can be recycled to sustain nutrient and organic C concentrations in biomass production fields. We evaluated effects of biochar rate and application method on soil properties, nutrient balance, biomass production, and water quality. Three replications of eight sorghum [ (L.) Moench] treatments were installed in box lysimeters under greenhouse conditions. Treatments comprised increasing rates (0, 1.5, and 3.0 Mg ha) of topdressed or incorporated biochar supplemented with N fertilizer or N, P, and K fertilizer. Simulated rain was applied at 21 and 34 d after planting, and mass runoff loss of N, P, and K was measured. A mass balance of total N, P, and K was performed after 45 d. Returning 3.0 Mg ha of biochar did not affect sorghum biomass, soil total, or Mehlich-3-extractable nutrients compared to control soil. Yet, biochar contributed to increased concentration of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) and mass loss of total phosphorus (TP) in simulated runoff, especially if topdressed. It was estimated that up to 20% of TP in topdressed biochar was lost in surface runoff after two rain events. Poor recovery of nutrients during pyrolysis and excessive runoff loss of nutrients for topdressed biochar, especially K, resulted in negative nutrient balances. Efforts to conserve nutrients during pyrolysis and incorporation of biochar at rates derived from annual biomass yields will be necessary for biochar use in sustainable energy crop production. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  14. Evaluation of energy plantation crops in a high-throughput indirectly heated biomass gasifier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paisley, M.A.; Litt, R.D. [Battelle, Columbus, OH (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Experiments were run in Battelle`s 10 ton per day Process Research Unit (PRU) gasifier using two high-growth, energy plantation crops -- hybrid poplar -- and an herbaceous biomass crop -- switch grass. The results show that both feedstocks provide gas production rates, product gas compositions, and heating value similar to other biomass feedstocks tested in the Battelle gasification process. The ash compositions of the switch grass and hybrid poplar feedstocks were high in potassium relative to previously tested biomass feedstocks. High growth biomass species tend to concentrate minerals such as potassium in the ash. The higher potassium content in the ash can then cause agglomeration problems in the gasification system. A method for controlling this agglomeration through the addition of small amounts (approximately 2 percent of the wood feed rate) of an additive could adequately control the agglomeration tendency of the ash. During the testing program in the PRU, approximately 50 tons of hybrid poplar and 15 tons of switch grass were gasified to produce a medium Btu product gas.

  15. Land-use change in Indian tropical agro-ecosystems: eco-energy estimation for socio-ecological sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nautiyal, Sunil; Kaechele, Harald; Umesh Babu, M S; Tikhile, Pavan; Baksi, Sangeeta

    2017-04-01

    This study was carried out to understand the ecological and economic sustainability of floriculture and other main crops in Indian agro-ecosystems. The cultivation practices of four major flower crops, namely Jasminum multiflorum, Crossandra infundibuliformis, Chrysanthemum and Tagetes erecta, were studied in detail. The production cost of flowers in terms of energy was calculated to be 99,622-135,996 compared to 27,681-69,133 MJ ha -1 for the main crops, namely Oryza sativa, Eleusine coracana, Zea mays and Sorghum bicolor. The highest-energy input amongst the crops was recorded for Z. mays (69,133 MJ ha -1 ) as this is a resource-demanding crop. However, flower cultivation requires approximately twice the energy required for the cultivation of Z. mays. In terms of both energy and monetary inputs, flower cultivation needs two to three times the requirements of the main crops cultivated in the region. The monetary inputs for main crop cultivation were calculated to be ₹ 27,349 to ₹ 46,930 as compared to flower crops (₹ 62,540 to ₹ 144,355). Floriculture was found to be more efficient in monetary terms when compared to the main crops cultivated in the region. However, the energy efficiency of flower crops is lower than that of the main crops, and the energy output from flower cultivation was found to be declining in tropical agro-ecosystems in India. Amongst the various inputs, farmyard manure accounts for the highest proportion, and for its preparation, most of the raw material comes from the surrounding ecosystems. Thus, flower cultivation has a direct impact on the ecosystem resource flow. Therefore, keeping the economic and environmental sustainability in view, this study indicates that a more field-based research is required to frame appropriate policies for flower cultivation to achieve sustainable socio-ecological development.

  16. A comparative analysis to quantify the biogeochemical and biogeophysical cooling effects on climate of a white mustard cover crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferlicoq, Morgan; Ceschia, Eric; Brut, Aurore; Tallec, Tiphaine; Carrer, Dominique; Pique, Gaetan; Ferroni, Nicole

    2017-04-01

    During the COP21, agriculture was recognised as a strategic sector and an opportunity to strengthen climate mitigation. In particular, the "4 per 1000" initiative relies upon solutions that refer to agro-ecology, conservation agriculture, … that could lead to increase carbon storage. Among those agro-ecology practices, including cover crops during fallow periods is considered as a fundamental agronomic lever for storing carbon. However, if biogeochemical benefits of cover-crops (CC) have already been addressed, their biogeophysical effects on climate have never been quantified and compared to biogeochemical effects. This comparative study (CC vs. bare soil), quantified and compared biogeochemical (including carbon storage) and biophysical effects (albedo and energy partitioning effect) of CC on climate. An experimental campaign was performed in 2013 in Southwest France, during the fallow period following a winter-wheat crop (and before a maize). The experimental plot was divided in two: the northern part was maintained in bare soil (BS) while white-mustard (WM) was grown during 3-months on the southern part. On each subplot, continuous measurements of CO2, latent and sensible fluxes (by eddy covariance) and solar radiation were acquired. Also, N2O emissions were measured by means of automatic chambers on each subplots. Moreover, by using a Life-Cycle-Analysis approach, each component of the greenhouse gas budget (GHGB) was quantified for each subplot, including emissions associated to field operations (FO). To quantify the albedo induced radiative forcing (RFα) caused by the white-mustard, the bare soil subplot was used as a reference state (IPCC, 2007). Finally, the net radiative forcing for each subplot was calculated as the sum of biogeochemical and biogeophysical (albedo effect) radiative forcing. The white-mustard allowed a net CO2 fixation of 63 g C-eq.m-2, corresponding to 20% of the net annual CO2 flux that year (-332 g C-eq.m-2). Through the WM seeds

  17. Impacts of the cultivation of energy crops for generation of biogas on the landscape structure and avifauna; Auswirkungen des Energiepflanzenanbaus zur Biogaserzeugung auf Landschaftsstruktur und Avifauna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruehmkorf, Hilke

    2011-07-01

    In its effort to implement new climate and energy policies, Germany has been heavily promoting the adoption of renewable energies. This has brought about a dramatic change in the use of arable land during the last years. The primary objective of this study was therefore to assess the effect of energy cropping on existing landscape structures in intensively cultivated regions in the course of the year. According to the available structural parameters an investigation was conducted to ascertain the fallout of energy plant cultivation on both migratory and overwintering birds. The period covered entailed the winter months. Both the advent of the energy crops as well as the associated biogas facilities that sprang up outside built-in areas seem to have reshaped the existing agricultural landscape. Hence, an additional aim of this study was to identify birds that use biogas plants for breeding or as a feeding habitat in winter. In conclusion, it can be asserted that energy crops can definitely contribute to the expansion of structural diversity in the agricultural landscape provided those energy crops were not cultivated on a large scale prior to the advent of the biogas facilities. Hence, there is still room for further energy crop diversification as its potential has not been exhausted. During the winter months mostly common species such as the carrion crow or the wood pigeon consider the maize fields as a viable source of nutrition. Cranes are seen as newcomers, as they probably started resting in the 'Boerde' precisely due to the advent of energy maize cultivation. And more availability of nourishment when the ground is covered by snow is another benefit the avifauna reaps from biogas plants. However, for endangered farmland birds this type of nutrition is a rarely used source, as it runs counter to their escape strategies and food preferences. For these species the habitat function and the food availability depends especially on how the land is managed (e

  18. Increasing Cropping System Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability and Environmental Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Adam S.; Hill, Jason D.; Chase, Craig A.; Johanns, Ann M.; Liebman, Matt

    2012-01-01

    Balancing productivity, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production systems in the United States are characterized by low species and management diversity, high use of fossil energy and agrichemicals, and large negative impacts on the environment. We hypothesized that cropping system diversification would promote ecosystem services that would supplement, and eventually displace, synthetic external inputs used to maintain crop productivity. To test this, we conducted a field study from 2003–2011 in Iowa that included three contrasting systems varying in length of crop sequence and inputs. We compared a conventionally managed 2-yr rotation (maize-soybean) that received fertilizers and herbicides at rates comparable to those used on nearby farms with two more diverse cropping systems: a 3-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + red clover) and a 4-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + alfalfa-alfalfa) managed with lower synthetic N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of cattle manure. Grain yields, mass of harvested products, and profit in the more diverse systems were similar to, or greater than, those in the conventional system, despite reductions of agrichemical inputs. Weeds were suppressed effectively in all systems, but freshwater toxicity of the more diverse systems was two orders of magnitude lower than in the conventional system. Results of our study indicate that more diverse cropping systems can use small amounts of synthetic agrichemical inputs as powerful tools with which to tune, rather than drive, agroecosystem performance, while meeting or exceeding the performance of less diverse systems. PMID:23071739

  19. Life cycle assessment of a willow bioenergy cropping system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heller, M.C.; Keoleian, G.A.; Volk, Timothy A.

    2003-01-01

    The environmental performance of willow biomass crop production systems in New York (NY) is analyzed using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. The base-case, which represents current practices in NY, produces 55 units of biomass energy per unit of fossil energy consumed over the biomass crop's 23-year lifetime. Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer inputs have a strong influence on overall system performance, accounting for 37% of the non-renewable fossil energy input into the system. Net energy ratio varies from 58 to below 40 as a function of fertilizer application rate, but application rate also has implications on the system nutrient balance. Substituting inorganic N fertilizer with sewage sludge biosolids increases the net energy ratio of the willow biomass crop production system by more than 40%. While CO 2 emitted in combusting dedicated biomass is balanced by CO 2 adsorbed in the growing biomass, production processes contribute to the system's net global warming potential. Taking into account direct and indirect fuel use, N 2 O emissions from applied fertilizer and leaf litter, and carbon sequestration in below ground biomass and soil carbon, the net greenhouse gas emissions total 0.68 g CO 2 eq. MJ biomassproduced -1 . Site specific parameters such as soil carbon sequestration could easily offset these emissions resulting in a net reduction of greenhouse gases. Assuming reasonable biomass transportation distance and energy conversion efficiencies, this study implies that generating electricity from willow biomass crops could produce 11 units of electricity per unit of fossil energy consumed. Results form the LCA support the assertion that willow biomass crops are sustainable from an energy balance perspective and contribute additional environmental benefits

  20. Global warming impact assessment of a crop residue gasification project—A dynamic LCA perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Jin; Chen, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • A dynamic LCA is proposed considering time-varying factors. • Dynamic LCA is used to highlight GHG emission hotspots of gasification projects. • Indicators are proposed to reflect GHG emission performance. • Dynamic LCA alters the static LCA results. • Crop residue gasification project has high GHG abatement potential. - Abstract: Bioenergy from crop residues is one of the prevailing sustainable energy sources owing to the abundant reserves worldwide. Amongst a wide variety of energy conversion technologies, crop residue gasification has been regarded as promising owing to its higher energy efficiency than that of direct combustion. However, prior to large-scale application of crop residue gasification, the lifetime environmental performance should be investigated to shed light on sustainable strategies. As traditional static life cycle assessment (LCA) does not include temporal information for dynamic processes, we proposed a dynamic life cycle assessment approach, which improves the static LCA approach by considering time-varying factors, e.g., greenhouse gas characterization factors and energy intensity. As the gasification project can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) discharge compared with traditional direct fuel combustion, trade-offs between the benefits of global warming mitigation and the impact on global warming of crop residue gasification should be considered. Therefore, indicators of net global warming mitigation benefit and global warming impact mitigation period are put forward to justify the feasibility of the crop residue gasification project. The proposed dynamic LCA and indicators were then applied to estimate the life cycle global warming impact of a crop residue gasification system in China. Results show that the crop residue gasification project has high net global warming mitigation benefit and a short global warming impact mitigation period, indicating its prominent potential in alleviating global warming impact. During

  1. Social Science Studies on European and African Agriculture Compared: Bringing Together Different Strands of Academic Debate on GM Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klara Fischer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study explored the social science-orientated literature on genetically modified (GM crops in Europe and compared it with the corresponding literature on GM crops in African contexts, in order to determine the nature and extent of north-south cross-fertilisation in the literature. A total of 1625 papers on GM crops and agriculture falling within the ‘social science and humanities’ subject area in the Scopus abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature were analysed for major trends relating to geographical areas. More detailed analysis was performed on papers discussing African (56 papers and European (127 papers contexts. The analysis revealed that studies on policy and politics were common in both strands of the literature, frequently focusing on effects of the relatively restrictive European Union regulations on GM crops. There were also clear differences, however. For example, papers focusing on Africa frequently examined farm-level impacts and production, while this theme was almost non-existent in the Europe literature. It focused instead on policy impacts on trade and consumer attitudes to GM products. The lack of farm-level studies and of empirical studies in general in the European literature indicates a need for empirical research on GM crops in European farming. Social science research on GM crop production in Europe could draw lessons from the African literature.

  2. Economic and greenhouse gas emission analysis of bioenergy production using multi-product crops-case studies for the Netherlands and Poland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dornburg, V.; Termeer, G.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2005-01-01

    In the face of climate change that may result from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the scarcity of agricultural land and limited competitiveness of biomass energy on the market, it is desirable to increase the performance of bioenergy systems. Multi-product crops, i.e. using a crop partially for energy and partially for material purposes can possibly create additional incomes as well as additional GHG emission reductions. In this study, the performance of several multi-product crop systems is compared to energy crop systems, focused on the costs of primary biomass fuel costs and GHG emission reductions per hectare of biomass production. The sensitivity of the results is studied by means of a Monte-Carlo analysis. The multi-product crops studied are wheat, hemp and poplar in the Netherlands and Poland. GHG emission reductions of these multi-product crop systems are found to be between 0.2 and 2.4 Mg CO 2eq /(ha yr) in Poland and 0.9 and 7.8 Mg CO 2eq /(ha yr) in the Netherlands, while primary biomass fuel costs range from -4.1 to -1.7 EURO /GJ in the Netherlands and from 0.1 to 9.8 EURO /GJ in Poland. Results show that the economic attractiveness of multi-product crops depends strongly on material market prices, crop production costs and crop yields. Net annual GHG emission reductions per hectare are influenced strongly by the specific GHG emission reduction of material use, reference energy systems and GHG emissions of crop production. Multi-product use of crops can significantly decrease primary biomass fuel costs. However, this does not apply in general, but depends on the kind of crops and material uses. For the examples analysed here, net annual GHG emission reductions per hectare are not lowered by multi-product use of crops. Consequently, multi-product crops are not for granted an option to increase the performance of bioenergy systems. Further research on the feasibility of large-scale multi-product crop systems and their impact on land and material markets

  3. Crop rotation modelling - A European model intercomparison

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kollas, Chris; Kersebaum, Kurt C; Nendel, Claas

    2015-01-01

    Diversification of crop rotations is considered an option to increase the resilience of European crop production under climate change. So far, however, many crop simulation studies have focused on predicting single crops in separate one-year simulations. Here, we compared the capability of fiftee...

  4. Supply evaluation of a herbaceous and woody energy crop at three midwest regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    English, B.C.; Dillivan, K.D.; Ojo, M.A.

    1994-01-01

    While substantial research has been conducted on the argronomic issues of biomass production and on the processes of converting biofuel crops into energy, little work has been completed analyzing the economic and physical impacts of biofuel production on an agriculturally based region. Acres currently devoted to traditional crops will be replaced by biomass crops if such a conversion proves to be economically attractive. These shifts could have impacts on local and regional levels of farm income, current farmland market values, commodity prices received, and the demand for and prices of farm level inputs. This paper examines the economic and physical ramifications of introducing biomass production to three Midwest regions centered in the following counties; Cass County, North Dakota, Olmsted County, Minnesota, and Orange County, Indiana. Using a regional linear programming model that maximizes net returns to producers subject to several constraints, a supply curve for biomass is developed for each of the three regions. The model predicts that at a plant gate price of $26, $40, and $52 per dry ton, biomass begins to enter into production in the Cass, Olmsted, and Orange Regions respectively. Prices of $28, $44, and $54 per dry ton of biomass are sufficient to supply a quantity necessary to operate a power plant requiring 5,000 dry tons per day in Cass, Olmsted, and Orange regions respectively. In the Olmsted and Orange regions, biomass production results in fertilizer being applied, however, in the Cass Region a slight increase in fertilizer use corresponds to biomass production

  5. Analysis of energy consumption in lowland rice-based cropping system of Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chan Chee Wan

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Sufficient energy is needed in the right form and at the right time for adequate crop production. One way to optimize energy consumption in agriculture is to determine the efficiency of methods and techniques used. With the current increase in world population, energy consumption needs effective planning. That is, the input elements need to be identified in order to prescribe the most efficient methods for controlling them. This study was undertaken in order to determine the direct and indirect energy consumption of field operations in a lowland rice production system of Malaysia. Field time, fuel and other energy requirements were measured for the tillage, planting, fertilizing, spraying and harvesting operations performed. Energy analysis carried out revealed the highest average operational energy consumption was for tillage (1747.33 MJ ha-1 which accounted for about 48.6% of the total operational energy consumption (3595.87 MJ ha-1, followed by harvesting (1171.44 MJ ha-1, 32.6% and planting (562.91 MJ ha-1, 15.7%. Fertilizing and pesticide spraying did not make any significant contributions to the operational energy consumption. Based on energy sources, fuel was the main consumer of direct energy with 2717.82 MJha-1 (22.2%, and fertilizer recording the highest indirect energy consumption of 7721.03 MJha-1 (63.2%. Human labour, pesticides, seeds and indirect energy for machinery use had marginal importance, contributing only 0.2%, 0.6%, 6.8% and 6.9%, respectively to the total energy consumption (12225.97 MJha-1. Average grain yield was 6470.8 kg ha-1, representing energy output of 108321.75 MJha-1, that is, 96095.78 MJ net energy gain or 8.86 MJ output per MJ input. Energy input per kilogram grain yield was 1.89 MJkg-1. The results of the study indicate energy gain in the lowland rice production system of Malaysia.

  6. Energy dynamics in Populus deltoides G3 Marsh agroforestry systems in eastern India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaturvedi, O.P.; Das, D.K.

    2005-01-01

    Energy efficiency of Populus deltoides G 3 Marsh agroforestry of a 3-year-old system with intercropping of maize-wheat in crop I and pigeonpea in crop II and of a 9-year-old system with turmeric, a shade loving crop was studied at Pusa, Bihar in eastern India. Energy fixation, storage, net allocation in agronomic yield and energy released and exit from the 9-year-old system was 1.53, 4.30, 0.43 and 3.37 times in crop I and 1.67, 4.60, 0.53 and 3.30 times in crop II of the 3-year-old agroforestry system. The energy conservation efficiency in the 9-year-old system was higher (1.91%) as compared to crop I (1.24%) and crop II (1.15%) of the 3-year-old agroforestry system. The energy accumulation ratio in the 9-year-old system was 2.82 and 2.77 times higher in crop I and crop II, respectively, of the 3-year-old agroforestry system. The 3-year-old agroforestry system showed lower energy accumulation ratio resulting from less energy accumulation in perennial turnover in the from of leaf of tree and agricultural crops. The crop II system of the 3-year-old poplar agroforestry was more efficient system of management due to higher quanta of energy and higher cash return but one has to opt for shade loving intercrop turmeric with increase in age of the poplar plantation and more canopy closure

  7. The Implications of Growing Bioenergy Crops on Water Resources, Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, A. K.; Song, Y.; Kheshgi, H. S.

    2016-12-01

    What is the potential for the crops Corn, Miscanthus and switchgrass to meet future energy demands in the U.S.A., and would they mitigate climate change by offsetting fossil fuel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? The large-scale cultivation of these bioenergy crops itself could also drive climate change through changes in albedo, evapotranspiration (ET), and GHG emissions. Whether these climate effects will mitigate or exacerbate climate change in the short- and long-term is uncertain. This uncertainty stems from our incomplete understanding of the effects of expanded bioenergy crop production on terrestrial water and energy balance, carbon and nitrogen dynamics, and their interactions. This study aims to understand the implications of growing large-scale bioenergy crops on water resources, carbon and nitrogen dynamics in the United States using a data-modeling framework (ISAM) that we developed. Our study indicates that both Miscanthus and Cave-in-Rock switchgrass can attain high and stable yield over parts of the Midwest, however, this high production is attained at the cost of increased soil water loss as compared to current natural vegetation. Alamo switchgrass can attain high and stable yield in the southern US without significant influence on soil water quantity.

  8. Food and nutritional security requires adequate protein as well as energy, delivered from whole-year crop production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Coles, Graeme D; Wratten, Stephen D; Porter, John Roy

    2016-01-01

    Human food security requires the production of sufficient quantities of both high-quality protein and dietary energy. In a series of case-studies from New Zealand, we show that while production of food ingredients from crops on arable land can meet human dietary energy requirements effectively...... and nutritional security will largely be an outcome of national or regional agroeconomies addressing their own food needs. We hope that our model will be used for similar analyses of food production systems in other countries, agroecological zones and economies....

  9. Willow trees from heavy metals phytoextraction as energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Šyc, Michal; Pohořelý, Michael; Kameníková, Petra; Habart, Jan; Svoboda, Karel; Punčochář, Miroslav

    2012-01-01

    Phytoextraction ability of some fast growing plant species leads to the idea of connecting biomass production with soil remediation of contaminated industrial zones and regions. This biomass will contain significant amount of heavy metals and its energetic utilization has to be considered carefully to minimize negative environmental impacts. This study was focused on potential disposal methods of willow trees contaminated by heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) with the emphasis on energetic utilization of biomass. Composting seems to be suitable pre-treatment method resulting in decrease of heavy metals leachability and biomass weight reduction. The possibility of willow trees application for energetic purposes was investigated and consequently incineration tests of willow trees samples in fluidized bed reactor were realized. Distribution of selected heavy metals in different ash fractions and treatment methods of produced ashes were studied as well. -- Highlights: ► Composting is an appropriate pre-treatment method for phytoextraction crops. ► Fluidized bed combustion is suitable disposal method of phytoextraction crops. ► Ashes from phytoextraction crops combustion cannot be used as fertilizers.

  10. Economic impacts of short-rotation woody crops for energy or oriented strand board: a Minnesota case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    William F. Lazarus; Douglas G. Tiffany; Ronald S. Zalesny Jr.; Don E. Riemenschneider

    2011-01-01

    Short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) such as hybrid poplars are becoming increasingly competitive with agriculture on marginal land. The trees can be grown for energy and for traditional uses such as oriented strandboard. Using IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for Planning) software, we modeled the impacts of shifting land use from hay and pasture for cow-calf beef operations to...

  11. Pea-barley intercropping and short-term subsequent crop effects across European organic cropping conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Gooding, M.; Ambus, Per

    2009-01-01

    . In the replacement design the total relative plant density is kept constant, while the additive design uses the optimal sole crop density for pea supplementing with ‘extra’ barley plants. The pea and barley crops were followed by winter wheat with and without N application. Additional experiments in Denmark......) to grain N yield with 25–30% using the Land Equivalent ratio. In terms of absolute quantities, sole cropped pea accumulated more N in the grains as compared to the additive design followed by the replacement design and then sole cropped barley. The post harvest soil mineral N content was unaffected...

  12. Historical Perspective on How and Why Switchgrass was Selected as a "Model" High-Potential Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Lynn L [ORNL

    2007-11-01

    A review of several publications of the Biofuels Feedstock Development Program, and final reports from the herbaceous crop screening trials suggests that there were several technical and non-technical factors that influenced the decision to focus on one herbaceous "model" crop species. The screening trials funded by the U.S. Department of Energy in the late 1980's to early 1990's assessed a wide range of about 34 species with trials being conducted on a wide range of soil types in 31 different sites spread over seven states in crop producing regions of the U.S. While several species, including sorghums, reed canarygrass and other crops, were identified as having merit for further development, the majority of institutions involved in the herbaceous species screening studies identified switchgrass as having high priority for further development. Six of the seven institutions included switchgrass among the species recommended for further development in their region and all institutions recommended that perennial grasses be given high research priority. Reasons for the selection of switchgrass included the demonstration of relatively high, reliable productivity across a wide geographical range, suitability for marginal quality land, low water and nutrient requirements, and positive environmental attributes. Economic and environmental assessments by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program staff together with the screening project results, and funding limitations lead to making the decision to further develop only switchgrass as a "model" or "prototype" species in about 1990. This paper describes the conditions under which the herbaceous species were screened, summarizes results from those trials, discusses the various factors which influenced the selection of switchgrass, and provides a brief evaluation of switchgrass with respect to criteria that should be considered when selecting and developing a crop for biofuels and

  13. COMPARING OPTICALAND DIRECT METHODS FOR LEAFAREA INDEX DETERMINATION IN A MAIZE CROP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arianna Facchi

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Leaf area index (LAI is a crucial variable in the modelling of many hydrological processes. Destructive sampling of LAI is extremely time-consuming, thus not suitable for monitoring temporal/spatial variations of the variable. In the last fifty years optical instruments retrieving LAI from more easily measurable variables (i.e. transmitted radiation through canopies have been developed. Several instruments are available on the market, but very few are the studies comparing LAI estimates in agricultural crops. In this paper three optical instruments are compared with destructive sampling for a maize crop located in Northern Italy. Determinations were carried out on three plots (replicates before and after successive thinning of plant populations. Destructively sampled LAI ranged from 4.9 m2m-2 (no thinning to 1.2 m2m- 2 (maximum thinning. Correlation analysis showed that estimates by the AccuPAR-80, the hemispherical camera (“effective” and “true” LAI and the LAI- 2000 (in the standard configuration, i.e. five zenithal rings, and excluding the fifth ring were well correlated with destructive measurements (R2≥0.95. Anyway, if for the AccuPAR-80 the regression line was close to the 1:1 line, the “true LAI” by hemispherical photography tended to overestimate destructively sampled LAI for low values while the “effective LAI” and the LAI-2000 to underestimate it for high values (in a minor way for the LAI-2000 when the fifth ring was removed. Results from the ANOVA and the Tukey T test for two-factor experiments with replicates showed that only the “effective LAI” retrieved by hemispherical photographs and the estimates provided by the LAI-2000 in the standard configuration (five rings were statistically different from destructive measurements.

  14. How might renewable energy technologies fit in the food-water-energy nexus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newmark, R. L.; Macknick, J.; Heath, G.; Ong, S.; Denholm, P.; Margolis, R.; Roberts, B.

    2011-12-01

    Feeding the growing population in the U.S. will require additional land for crop and livestock production. Similarly, a growing population will require additional sources of energy. Renewable energy is likely to play an increased role in meeting the new demands of electricity consumers. Renewable energy technologies can differ from conventional technologies in their operation and their siting locations. Many renewable energy technologies have a lower energy density than conventional technologies and can also have large land use requirements. Much of the prime area suitable for renewable energy development in the U.S. has historically been used for agricultural production, and there is some concern that renewable energy installations could displace land currently producing food crops. In addition to requiring vast expanses of land, both agriculture and renewable energy can require water. The agriculture and energy sectors are responsible for the majority of water withdrawals in the U.S. Increases in both agricultural and energy demand can lead to increases in water demands, depending on crop management and energy technologies employed. Water is utilized in the energy industry primarily for power plant cooling, but it is also required for steam cycle processes and cleaning. Recent characterizations of water use by different energy and cooling system technologies demonstrate the choice of fuel and cooling system technologies can greatly impact the withdrawals and the consumptive use of water in the energy industry. While some renewable and conventional technology configurations can utilize more water per unit of land than irrigation-grown crops, other renewable technology configurations utilize no water during operations and could lead to reduced stress on water resources. Additionally, co-locating agriculture and renewable energy production is also possible with many renewable technologies, avoiding many concerns about reductions in domestic food production. Various

  15. Impact of Corn Residue Removal on Crop and Soil Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. M.; Wilhelm, W. W.; Hatfield, J. L.; Voorhees, W. B.; Linden, D.

    2003-12-01

    Over-reliance on imported fuels, increasing atmospheric levels of greenhouses and sustaining food production for a growing population are three of the most important problems facing society in the mid-term. The US Department of Energy and private enterprise are developing technology necessary to use high cellulose feedstock, such as crop residues, for ethanol production. Based on production levels, corn (Zea mays L.) residue has potential as a biofuel feedstock. Crop residues are a renewable and domestic fuel source, which can reduce the rate of fossil fuel use (both imported and domestic) and provide an additional farm commodity. Crop residues protect the soil from wind and water erosion, provide inputs to form soil organic matter (a critical component determining soil quality) and play a role in nutrient cycling. Crop residues impact radiation balance and energy fluxes and reduce evaporation. Therefore, the benefits of using crop residues as fuel, which removes crop residues from the field, must be balanced against negative environmental impacts (e.g. soil erosion), maintaining soil organic matter levels, and preserving or enhancing productivity. All ramifications of new management practices and crop uses must be explored and evaluated fully before an industry is established. There are limited numbers of long-term studies with soil and crop responses to residue removal that range from negative to negligible. The range of crop and soil responses to crop residue removal was attributed to interactions with climate, management and soil type. Within limits, corn residue can be harvested for ethanol production to provide a renewable, domestic source of energy feedstock that reduces greenhouse gases. Removal rates must vary based on regional yield, climatic conditions and cultural practices. Agronomists are challenged to develop a protocol (tool) for recommending maximum permissible removal rates that ensure sustained soil productivity.

  16. Innovations in LED lighting for reduced-ESM crop production in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massa, Gioia; Mitchell, Cary; Bourget, C. Michael; Morrow, Robert

    In controlled-environment crop production such as will be practiced at the lunar outpost and Mars base, the single most energy-demanding aspect is electric lighting for plant growth, including energy costs for energizing lamps as well as for removing excess heat. For a variety of reasons, sunlight may not be a viable option as the main source of crop lighting off-Earth and traditional electric lamps for crop lighting have numerous drawbacks for use in a space environment. A collaborative research venture between the Advanced Life Support Crops Group at Purdue University and the Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) has led to the development of efficient, reconfigurable LED lighting technologies for crop growth in an ALSS. The light sources use printed-circuit red and blue LEDs, which are individually tunable for a range of photosynthetic photon fluxes and photomorphogenic plant responses. Initial lighting arrays have LEDs that can be energized from the bottom upward when deployed in a vertical, intracanopy configuration, allowing the illumination to be tailored for stand height throughout the cropping cycle. Preliminary testing with the planophile crop cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp, breeding line IT87D-941-1), resulted in optimizing internal reflectance of growth compartments by lining walls, floor, and a movable ceiling with white Poly film, as well as by determining optimal planting density and plant positioning. Additionally, these light strips, called "lightsicles", can be configured into an overhead plane of light engines. When intracanopy and overhead-LED-lit cowpea crop production was compared, cowpea plants grown with intracanopy lighting had much greater understory leaf retention and produced more dry biomass per kilowatt-hour of lighting energy than did overhead-lit plants. The efficiency of light capture is reduced in overhead-lit scenarios due to mutual shading of lower leaves by upper leaves in closed canopies leading to premature abscission

  17. Impact of crop residue management on crop production and soil chemistry after seven years of crop rotation in temperate climate, loamy soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiel, Marie-Pierre; Barbieux, Sophie; Pierreux, Jérôme; Olivier, Claire; Lobet, Guillaume; Roisin, Christian; Garré, Sarah; Colinet, Gilles; Bodson, Bernard; Dumont, Benjamin

    2018-01-01

    Society is increasingly demanding a more sustainable management of agro-ecosystems in a context of climate change and an ever growing global population. The fate of crop residues is one of the important management aspects under debate, since it represents an unneglectable quantity of organic matter which can be kept in or removed from the agro-ecosystem. The topic of residue management is not new, but the need for global conclusion on the impact of crop residue management on the agro-ecosystem linked to local pedo-climatic conditions has become apparent with an increasing amount of studies showing a diversity of conclusions. This study specifically focusses on temperate climate and loamy soil using a seven-year data set. Between 2008 and 2016, we compared four contrasting residue management strategies differing in the amount of crop residues returned to the soil (incorporation vs. exportation of residues) and in the type of tillage (reduced tillage (10 cm depth) vs. conventional tillage (ploughing at 25 cm depth)) in a field experiment. We assessed the impact of the crop residue management on crop production (three crops-winter wheat, faba bean and maize-cultivated over six cropping seasons), soil organic carbon content, nitrate ([Formula: see text]), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) soil content and uptake by the crops. The main differences came primarily from the tillage practice and less from the restitution or removal of residues. All years and crops combined, conventional tillage resulted in a yield advantage of 3.4% as compared to reduced tillage, which can be partly explained by a lower germination rate observed under reduced tillage, especially during drier years. On average, only small differences were observed for total organic carbon (TOC) content of the soil, but reduced tillage resulted in a very clear stratification of TOC and also of P and K content as compared to conventional tillage. We observed no effect of residue management on the [Formula: see

  18. Grasses for energy production: hydrological guidelines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hall, R.L.

    2003-07-01

    This report provides hydrological guidelines for growers, land and water resource managers, environmental groups and other parties interested in utilising grasses for energy production. The aim of the report is to help interested parties decide if a location is suitable for planting energy grasses by considering whether potential hydrological impacts will have an adverse effect on crop productivity and yield. The guidelines consider: the water use of energy grasses compared with other crops; the factors governing water use; the water requirements for a productive crop; and the likely impacts on the availability and quantity of water. The report points out that there are still gaps in our knowledge of the processes controlling the water use and growth of energy grasses and notes that, in some situations, there will be considerable uncertainty in predictions of water use and the magnitude of the associated hydrological impacts.

  19. Modelling the costs of energy crops. A case study of US corn and Brazilian sugar cane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mejean, Aurelie; Hope, Chris

    2010-01-01

    High crude oil prices, uncertainties about the consequences of climate change and the eventual decline of conventional oil production raise the prospects of alternative fuels, such as biofuels. This paper describes a simple probabilistic model of the costs of energy crops, drawing on the user's degree of belief about a series of parameters as an input. This forward-looking analysis quantifies the effects of production constraints and experience on the costs of corn and sugar cane, which can then be converted to bioethanol. Land is a limited and heterogeneous resource: the crop cost model builds on the marginal land suitability, which is assumed to decrease as more land is taken into production, driving down the marginal crop yield. Also, the maximum achievable yield is increased over time by technological change, while the yield gap between the actual yield and the maximum yield decreases through improved management practices. The results show large uncertainties in the future costs of producing corn and sugar cane, with a 90% confidence interval of 2.9-7.2$/GJ in 2030 for marginal corn costs, and 1.5-2.5$/GJ in 2030 for marginal sugar cane costs. The influence of each parameter on these supply costs is examined. (author)

  20. A life cycle assessment of biodiesel derived from the “niche filling” energy crop camelina in the USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krohn, Brian J.; Fripp, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► We conducted a life cycle analysis of biodiesel derived from Camelina sativa. ► Camelina biodiesel reduced GHG emissions and fossil fuel use by 40–60%. ► As a “niche filling” crop camelina can avoid land use change emissions. ► Low fertilizer use and yields >800 kg/ha are necessary for environmental viability. -- Abstract: Camelina sativa (L.) is a promising crop for biodiesel production that avoids many of the potential pitfalls of traditional biofuel crops, such as land use change (LUC) and food versus fuel. In this study the environmental viability of camelina biodiesel was assessed using life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology. The LCA was conducted using the spreadsheet model dubbed KABAM. KABAM found that camelina grown as a niche filling crop (in rotation with wheat or as a double crop) reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil fuel use by 40–60% when compared to petroleum diesel. Furthermore, by avoiding LUC emissions, camelina biodiesel emits fewer GHGs than traditional soybean and canola biodiesel. Finally, a sensitivity analysis concluded that in order to maintain and increase the environmental viability of camelina and other niche filling biofuel crops, researchers and policy makers should focus their efforts on achieving satisfactory yields (1000–2000 kg/ha) while reducing nitrogen fertilizer inputs.

  1. Energy dynamics in Populus deltoides G{sub 3} Marsh agroforestry systems in eastern India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaturvedi, O.P. [National Research Centre for Agroforestry, Jhansi (India); Das, D.K. [Rajendra Agricultural Univ., Dept. of Forestry, Bihar (India)

    2005-08-01

    Energy efficiency of Populus deltoides G{sub 3} Marsh agroforestry of a 3-year-old system with intercropping of maize-wheat in crop I and pigeonpea in crop II and of a 9-year-old system with turmeric, a shade loving crop was studied at Pusa, Bihar in eastern India. Energy fixation, storage, net allocation in agronomic yield and energy released and exit from the 9-year-old system was 1.53, 4.30, 0.43 and 3.37 times in crop I and 1.67, 4.60, 0.53 and 3.30 times in crop II of the 3-year-old agroforestry system. The energy conservation efficiency in the 9-year-old system was higher (1.91%) as compared to crop I (1.24%) and crop II (1.15%) of the 3-year-old agroforestry system. The energy accumulation ratio in the 9-year-old system was 2.82 and 2.77 times higher in crop I and crop II, respectively, of the 3-year-old agroforestry system. The 3-year-old agroforestry system showed lower energy accumulation ratio resulting from less energy accumulation in perennial turnover in the form of leaf of tree and agricultural crops. The crop II system of the 3-year-old poplar agroforestry was more efficient system of management due to higher quanta of energy and higher cash return but one has to opt for shade loving intercrop turmeric with increase in age of the poplar plantation and more canopy closure. (Author)

  2. Leaf photosynthesis and respiration of three bioenergy crops in relation to temperature and leaf nitrogen: how conserved are biochemical model parameters among crop species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archontoulis, S. V.; Yin, X.; Vos, J.; Danalatos, N. G.; Struik, P. C.

    2012-01-01

    Given the need for parallel increases in food and energy production from crops in the context of global change, crop simulation models and data sets to feed these models with photosynthesis and respiration parameters are increasingly important. This study provides information on photosynthesis and respiration for three energy crops (sunflower, kenaf, and cynara), reviews relevant information for five other crops (wheat, barley, cotton, tobacco, and grape), and assesses how conserved photosynthesis parameters are among crops. Using large data sets and optimization techniques, the C3 leaf photosynthesis model of Farquhar, von Caemmerer, and Berry (FvCB) and an empirical night respiration model for tested energy crops accounting for effects of temperature and leaf nitrogen were parameterized. Instead of the common approach of using information on net photosynthesis response to CO2 at the stomatal cavity (An–Ci), the model was parameterized by analysing the photosynthesis response to incident light intensity (An–Iinc). Convincing evidence is provided that the maximum Rubisco carboxylation rate or the maximum electron transport rate was very similar whether derived from An–Ci or from An–Iinc data sets. Parameters characterizing Rubisco limitation, electron transport limitation, the degree to which light inhibits leaf respiration, night respiration, and the minimum leaf nitrogen required for photosynthesis were then determined. Model predictions were validated against independent sets. Only a few FvCB parameters were conserved among crop species, thus species-specific FvCB model parameters are needed for crop modelling. Therefore, information from readily available but underexplored An–Iinc data should be re-analysed, thereby expanding the potential of combining classical photosynthetic data and the biochemical model. PMID:22021569

  3. Developing Switchgrass as a Bioenergy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouton, J.; Bransby, D.; Conger, B.; McLaughlin, S.; Ocumpaugh, W.; Parrish, D.; Taliaferro, C.; Vogel, K.; Wullschleger, S.

    1998-11-08

    The utilization of energy crops produced on American farms as a source of renewable fuels is a concept with great relevance to current ecological and economic issues at both national and global scales. Development of a significant national capacity to utilize perennial forage crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum, L.) as biofuels could benefit our agricultural economy by providing an important new source of income for farmers. In addition energy production from perennial cropping systems, which are compatible with conventional fining practices, would help reduce degradation of agricultural soils, lower national dependence on foreign oil supplies, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants to the atmosphere (McLaughlin 1998). Interestingly, on-farm energy production is a very old concept, extending back to 19th century America when both transpofiation and work on the farm were powered by approximately 27 million draft animals and fueled by 34 million hectares of grasslands (Vogel 1996). Today a new form of energy production is envisioned for some of this same acreage. The method of energy production is exactly the same - solar energy captured in photosynthesis, but the subsequent modes of energy conversion are vastly different, leading to the production of electricity, transportation fuels, and chemicals from the renewable feedstocks. While energy prices in the United States are among the cheapest in the world, the issues of high dependency on imported oil, the uncertainties of maintaining stable supplies of imported oil from finite reserves, and the environmental costs associated with mining, processing, and combusting fossil fuels have been important drivers in the search for cleaner burning fuels that can be produced and renewed from the landscape. At present biomass and bioenergy combine provide only about 4% of the total primary energy used in the U.S. (Overend 1997). By contrast, imported oil accounts for approximately 44% of the

  4. Genome-Wide Analysis of miRNA targets in Brachypodium and Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Green, Pamela J. [Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)

    2015-08-11

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to the control of numerous biological processes through the regulation of specific target mRNAs. Although the identities of these targets are essential to elucidate miRNA function, the targets are much more difficult to identify than the small RNAs themselves. Before this work, we pioneered the genome-wide identification of the targets of Arabidopsis miRNAs using an approach called PARE (German et al., Nature Biotech. 2008; Nature Protocols, 2009). Under this project, we applied PARE to Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium), a model plant in the Poaceae family, which includes the major food grain and bioenergy crops. Through in-depth global analysis and examination of specific examples, this research greatly expanded our knowledge of miRNAs and target RNAs of Brachypodium. New regulation in response to environmental stress or tissue type was found, and many new miRNAs were discovered. More than 260 targets of new and known miRNAs with PARE sequences at the precise sites of miRNA-guided cleavage were identified and characterized. Combining PARE data with the small RNA data also identified the miRNAs responsible for initiating approximately 500 phased loci, including one of the novel miRNAs. PARE analysis also revealed that differentially expressed miRNAs in the same family guide specific target RNA cleavage in a correspondingly tissue-preferential manner. The project included generation of small RNA and PARE resources for bioenergy crops, to facilitate ongoing discovery of conserved miRNA-target RNA regulation. By associating specific miRNA-target RNA pairs with known physiological functions, the research provides insights about gene regulation in different tissues and in response to environmental stress. This, and release of new PARE and small RNA data sets should contribute basic knowledge to enhance breeding and may suggest new strategies for improvement of biomass energy crops.

  5. Crop rotation biomass and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi effects on sugarcane yield

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ambrosano, Edmilson Jose; Rossi, Fabricio; Guirado, Nivaldo; Teramoto, Juliana Rolim Salome [Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios (APTA), Piracicaba, SP (Brazil). Polo Regional Centro Sul; Azcon, Rozario [Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Granada (Spain). Estacao Experimental de Zaidin; Cantarela, Heitor [Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios (APTA/IAC), Campinas, SP (Brazil). Inst. Agronomico. Centro de Solos e Recursos Ambientais; Ambrosano, Glaucia Maria Bovi [Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Piracicaba, SP (Brazil). Fac. de Odontologia. Dept. de Odontologia Social], Email: ambrosano@apta.sp.gov.br; Schammass, Eliana Aparecida [Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios (APTA/IZ), Nova Odessa, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Zootecnia; Muraoka, Takashi; Trivelin, Paulo Cesar Ocheuze [Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA/USP), Piracicaba, SP (Brazil); Ungaro, Maria Regina Goncalves [Agencia Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegocios (APTA/IAC), Campinas, SP (Brazil). Inst. Agronomico. Centro de Plantas Graniferas

    2010-07-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is an important crop for sugar production and agro-energy purposes in Brazil. In the sugarcane production system after a 4- to 8-year cycle crop rotation may be used before replanting sugarcane to improve soil conditions and give an extra income. This study had the objective of characterizing the biomass and the natural colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) of leguminous green manure and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) in rotation with sugarcane. Their effect on stalk and sugar yield of sugarcane cv. IAC 87-3396 grown subsequently was also studied. Cane yield was harvested in three subsequent cuttings. Peanut cv. IAC-Caiapo, sunflower cv. IAC-Uruguai and velvet bean (Mucuna aterrimum Piper and Tracy) were the rotational crops that resulted in the greater percentage of AMF. Sunflower was the specie that most extracted nutrients from the soil, followed by peanut cv. IAC-Tatu and mung bean (Vigna radiata L. Wilczek). The colonization with AMF had a positive correlation with sugarcane plant height, at the first cut (p = 0.01 and R = 0.52) but not with the stalk or cane yields. Sunflower was the rotational crop that brought about the greatest yield increase of the subsequent sugarcane crop: 46% increase in stalk yield and 50% in sugar yield compared with the control. Except for both peanut varieties, all rotational crops caused an increase in net income of the cropping system in the average of three sugarcane harvests. (author)

  6. Attributing Crop Production in the United States Using Artificial Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Pan, B.

    2017-12-01

    Crop production plays key role in supporting life, economy and shaping environment. It is on one hand influenced by natural factors including precipitation, temperature, energy, and on the other hand shaped by the investment of fertilizers, pesticides and human power. Successful attributing of crop production to different factors can help optimize resources and improve productivity. Based on the meteorological records from National Center for Environmental Prediction and state-wise crop production related data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, an artificial neural network was constructed to connect crop production with precipitation and temperature anormlies, capital input, labor input, energy input, pesticide consumption and fertilizer consumption. Sensitivity analysis were carried out to attribute their specific influence on crop production for each grid. Results confirmed that the listed factors can generally determine the crop production. Different state response differently to the pertubation of predictands. Their spatial distribution is visulized and discussed.

  7. Impact of crop residue management on crop production and soil chemistry after seven years of crop rotation in temperate climate, loamy soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Pierre Hiel

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Society is increasingly demanding a more sustainable management of agro-ecosystems in a context of climate change and an ever growing global population. The fate of crop residues is one of the important management aspects under debate, since it represents an unneglectable quantity of organic matter which can be kept in or removed from the agro-ecosystem. The topic of residue management is not new, but the need for global conclusion on the impact of crop residue management on the agro-ecosystem linked to local pedo-climatic conditions has become apparent with an increasing amount of studies showing a diversity of conclusions. This study specifically focusses on temperate climate and loamy soil using a seven-year data set. Between 2008 and 2016, we compared four contrasting residue management strategies differing in the amount of crop residues returned to the soil (incorporation vs. exportation of residues and in the type of tillage (reduced tillage (10 cm depth vs. conventional tillage (ploughing at 25 cm depth in a field experiment. We assessed the impact of the crop residue management on crop production (three crops—winter wheat, faba bean and maize—cultivated over six cropping seasons, soil organic carbon content, nitrate ( ${\\mathrm{NO}}_{3}^{-}$ NO 3 − , phosphorus (P and potassium (K soil content and uptake by the crops. The main differences came primarily from the tillage practice and less from the restitution or removal of residues. All years and crops combined, conventional tillage resulted in a yield advantage of 3.4% as compared to reduced tillage, which can be partly explained by a lower germination rate observed under reduced tillage, especially during drier years. On average, only small differences were observed for total organic carbon (TOC content of the soil, but reduced tillage resulted in a very clear stratification of TOC and also of P and K content as compared to conventional tillage. We observed no effect of residue

  8. Crop 3D-a LiDAR based platform for 3D high-throughput crop phenotyping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Qinghua; Wu, Fangfang; Pang, Shuxin; Zhao, Xiaoqian; Chen, Linhai; Liu, Jin; Xue, Baolin; Xu, Guangcai; Li, Le; Jing, Haichun; Chu, Chengcai

    2018-03-01

    With the growing population and the reducing arable land, breeding has been considered as an effective way to solve the food crisis. As an important part in breeding, high-throughput phenotyping can accelerate the breeding process effectively. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is an active remote sensing technology that is capable of acquiring three-dimensional (3D) data accurately, and has a great potential in crop phenotyping. Given that crop phenotyping based on LiDAR technology is not common in China, we developed a high-throughput crop phenotyping platform, named Crop 3D, which integrated LiDAR sensor, high-resolution camera, thermal camera and hyperspectral imager. Compared with traditional crop phenotyping techniques, Crop 3D can acquire multi-source phenotypic data in the whole crop growing period and extract plant height, plant width, leaf length, leaf width, leaf area, leaf inclination angle and other parameters for plant biology and genomics analysis. In this paper, we described the designs, functions and testing results of the Crop 3D platform, and briefly discussed the potential applications and future development of the platform in phenotyping. We concluded that platforms integrating LiDAR and traditional remote sensing techniques might be the future trend of crop high-throughput phenotyping.

  9. Addressing crop interactions within cropping systems in LCA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goglio, Pietro; Brankatschk, Gerhard; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman

    2018-01-01

    objectives of this discussion article are as follows: (i) to discuss the characteristics of cropping systems which might affect the LCA methodology, (ii) to discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of the current available methods for the life-cycle assessment of cropping systems, and (iii) to offer...... management and emissions, and (3) functional unit issues. The LCA approaches presented are as follows: cropping system, allocation approaches, crop-by-crop approach, and combined approaches. The various approaches are described together with their advantages and disadvantages, applicability...... considers cropping system issues if they are related to multiproduct and nutrient cycling, while the crop-by-crop approach is highly affected by assumptions and considers cropping system issues only if they are related to the analyzed crop. Conclusions Each LCA approach presents advantages and disadvantages...

  10. Helping to increase tree crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1970-07-01

    Tree crops such as coffee, coconuts, palm oil, citrus fruits and cocoa are of major importance to the economies of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and may be a prime source of foreign exchange earnings. The search for ways to improve efficiently the yields of crops like these - now being aided by the Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture operated jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization - thus has a clearly defined practical goal. D. Nethsinghe deals here with some of the work. (author)

  11. Helping to increase tree crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1970-01-01

    Tree crops such as coffee, coconuts, palm oil, citrus fruits and cocoa are of major importance to the economies of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and may be a prime source of foreign exchange earnings. The search for ways to improve efficiently the yields of crops like these - now being aided by the Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture operated jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization - thus has a clearly defined practical goal. D. Nethsinghe deals here with some of the work. (author)

  12. Transpiration of greenhouse crops : an aid to climate management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stanghellini, C.

    1987-01-01

    In this book some physical aspects of greenhouse climate are analyzed to show the direct interrelation between microclimate and crop transpiration. The energy balance of a greenhouse crop is shown to provide a sound physical framework to quantify the impact of microclimate on transpiration

  13. Feeding nine billion: the challenge to sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Peter J; George, Timothy S

    2011-11-01

    In the recent past there was a widespread working assumption in many countries that problems of food production had been solved, and that food security was largely a matter of distribution and access to be achieved principally by open markets. The events of 2008 challenged these assumptions, and made public a much wider debate about the costs of current food production practices to the environment and whether these could be sustained. As in the past 50 years, it is anticipated that future increases in crop production will be achieved largely by increasing yields per unit area rather than by increasing the area of cropped land. However, as yields have increased, so the ratio of photosynthetic energy captured to energy expended in crop production has decreased. This poses a considerable challenge: how to increase yield while simultaneously reducing energy consumption (allied to greenhouse gas emissions) and utilizing resources such as water and phosphate more efficiently. Given the timeframe in which the increased production has to be realized, most of the increase will need to come from crop genotypes that are being bred now, together with known agronomic and management practices that are currently under-developed.

  14. Regional economic impacts of biomass based energy service use: A comparison across crops and technologies for East Styria, Austria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trink, Thomas; Schmid, Christoph; Schinko, Thomas; Steininger, Karl W.; Loibnegger, Thomas; Kettner, Claudia; Pack, Alexandra; Toeglhofer, Christoph

    2010-01-01

    Biomass action plans in many European countries seek to expand biomass heat and fuel supply, mainly to be supplied by peripheral, agricultural regions. We develop a two-plus-ten-region energy-focused computable general equilibrium (CGE) model that acknowledges land competition in analysing the sub-state local-regional economic implications of such a strategy, embedded within a global context. Our model is based on a full cost analysis of selected biomass technologies covering a range of agricultural and forestry crops, as well as thermal insulation. The local-regional macroeconomic effects differ significantly across technologies and are governed by factors such as net labour intensity in crop production. The high land intensity of agricultural biomass products crowds out conventional agriculture, and thus lowers employment and drives up land prices and the consumer price index. The regional economic results show that net employment effects are positive for all forestry based biomass energy, and also show for which agriculture based biomass systems this is true, even when accounting for land competition. When regional consumer price development governs regional wages or when the agricultural sector is in strong enough competition to the international market, positive employment and welfare impacts vanish fully for agriculture based bio-energy.

  15. Energy input in conventional and organic paddy rice production in Missouri and Italy: A comparative case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagani, Marco; Johnson, Thomas G; Vittuari, Matteo

    2017-03-01

    The expected decline in availability of fossil fuels over the next several decades, either because of resource depletion or because of limits on carbon emissions, is leading to a keen interest in finding more sustainable energy sources. For this reason, it is useful to assess the energy footprint of alternative agricultural systems for crops and animal production and to identify potential transition scenarios to systems largely based on renewable energy. The present work aims to assess for the first time a comparative analysis of energy inputs in rice production systems in Southern Europe (Piemonte, Italy) and in North America (Missouri, USA). A total of twelve rice farms, either conventional or organic, were selected, collecting detailed data on direct (fuel and electricity) and indirect (machinery, fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds) energy inputs. While energy input of conventional farms ranged from 3.5 to 7 MJ/kg paddy rice, organic farming could reduce inputs by more than 50% with only 8% yield decrease. A significant reduction in fuel or electricity use can be achieved also with no till and surface irrigation. The use of renewable energy sources, as already practiced by some farms, could more than cover their electrical energy requirements. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Radiation induced mutant crop varieties: accomplishment and societal deployment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, S.F.

    2009-01-01

    One of the peaceful applications of atomic energy is in the field of agriculture. It finds application in crop improvement, crop nutrition, crop protection and food preservation. Genetic improvement of crop plants is a continuous endeavor. Success of a crop improvement programme depends on the availability of large genetic variability, which a plant breeder can combine to generate new varieties. In nature, occurrence of natural variability in the form of spontaneous mutations is extremely low (roughly 10 -6 ), which can be enhanced to several fold (approximately 10 -3 ) by using ionizing radiations or chemical mutagens. Radiation induced genetic variability in crop plants is a valuable resource from which plant breeder can select and combine different desired characteristics to produce better crop varieties. Crop improvement programmes at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) envisage radiation based induced mutagenesis along with recombination breeding in country's important cereals (rice and wheat), oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean and sunflower), grain legumes (blackgram, mungbean, pigeonpea and cowpea), banana and sugarcane

  17. Effect of Mixed Systems on Crop Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas; Cihacek, Larry; Brevik, Eric

    2017-04-01

    The goals of this non-irrigated research has been to determine the effect of mixed systems integration on crop, soil, and beef cattle production in the northern Great Plains region of the United States. Over a 5-year period, growing spring wheat (HRSW-C) continuously year after year was compared to a 5-year crop rotation that included spring wheat (HRSW-R), cover crop (dual crop consisting of winter triticale/hairy vetch seeded in the fall and harvested for hay followed by a 7-species cover crop that was seeded in June after hay harvest), forage corn, field pea/barley, and sunflower. Control 5-year HRSW yield was 2690 kg/ha compared to 2757 kg/ha for HRSW grown in rotation. Available soil nitrogen (N) is often the most important limitation for crop production. Expensive fertilizer inputs were reduced in this study due to the mixed system's complementarity in which the rotation system that included beef cattle grazing sustained N availability and increased nutrient cycling, which had a positive effect on all crops grown in the rotation. Growing HRSW continuously requires less intensive management and in this research was 14.5% less profitable. Whereas, when crop management increased and complementing crops were grown in rotation to produce crops and provide feed for grazing livestock, soil nutrient cycling improved. Increased nutrient cycling increased crop rotation yields and yearling beef cattle steers that grazing annual forages in the rotation gain more body weight than similar steers grazing NGP native range. Results of this long-term research will be presented in a PICO format for participant discussion.

  18. Biomass supply from alternative cellulosic crops and crop residues: A spatially explicit bioeconomic modeling approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Egbendewe-Mondzozo, Aklesso; Swinton, Scott M.; Izaurralde, César R.; Manowitz, David H.; Zhang, Xuesong

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces a spatially-explicit bioeconomic model for the study of potential cellulosic biomass supply. For biomass crops to begin to replace current crops, farmers must earn more from them than from current crops. Using weather, topographic and soil data, the terrestrial ecosystem model, EPIC, dynamically simulates multiple cropping systems that vary by crop rotation, tillage, fertilization and residue removal rate. EPIC generates predicted crop yield and environmental outcomes over multiple watersheds. These EPIC results are used to parameterize a regional profit-maximization mathematical programming model that identifies profitable cropping system choices. The bioeconomic model is calibrated to 2007–09 crop production in a 9-county region of southwest Michigan. A simulation of biomass supply in response to rising biomass prices shows that cellulosic residues from corn stover and wheat straw begin to be supplied at minimum delivered biomass:corn grain price ratios of 0.15 and 0.18, respectively. At the mean corn price of $162.6/Mg ($4.13 per bushel) at commercial moisture content during 2007–2009, these ratios correspond to stover and straw prices of $24 and $29 per dry Mg. Perennial bioenergy crops begin to be supplied at price levels 2–3 times higher. Average biomass transport costs to the biorefinery plant range from $6 to $20/Mg compared to conventional crop production practices in the area, biomass supply from annual crop residues increased greenhouse gas emissions and reduced water quality through increased nutrient loss. By contrast, perennial cellulosic biomass crop production reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved water quality. -- Highlights: ► A new bioeconomic model predicts biomass supply and its environmental impacts. ► The model captures the opportunity cost of switching to new cellulosic crops. ► Biomass from crop residues is supplied at lower biomass price than cellulosic crops. ► Biomass from cellulosic crops has

  19. Performance evaluation of selected crop yield-water use models for wheat crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. E. Igbadun

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available Crop yield-water use models that provide useful information about the exact form of crop response to different amounts of water used by the crop throughout its growth stages and those that provide adequate information for decisions on optimal use of water in the farm were evaluated. Three crop yield models: Jensen (1968, Minhas et al., (1974 and Bras and Cordova (1981 additive type models were studied. Wheat (Triticum aestivum was planted at the Institute for Agricultural Research Farm during the 1995/96 and 1996/97 irrigation seasons of November to March. The data collected from the field experiments during the 1995/96 planting season were used to calibrate the models and their stress sensitivity factors estimated for four selected growth stages of the wheat crop. The ability of the model to predict grain yield of wheat with the estimated stress sensitivity factors was evaluated by comparing predicted grain yields by each model with those obtained in the field during the 1996/97 season. The three models performed fairly well in predicting grain yields, as the predicted results were not significantly different from the field measured grain yield at 5% level of significance.

  20. Predicting greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon from changing pasture to an energy crop.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin D Duval

    Full Text Available Bioenergy related land use change would likely alter biogeochemical cycles and global greenhouse gas budgets. Energy cane (Saccharum officinarum L. is a sugarcane variety and an emerging biofuel feedstock for cellulosic bio-ethanol production. It has potential for high yields and can be grown on marginal land, which minimizes competition with grain and vegetable production. The DayCent biogeochemical model was parameterized to infer potential yields of energy cane and how changing land from grazed pasture to energy cane would affect greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes and soil C pools. The model was used to simulate energy cane production on two soil types in central Florida, nutrient poor Spodosols and organic Histosols. Energy cane was productive on both soil types (yielding 46-76 Mg dry mass · ha(-1. Yields were maintained through three annual cropping cycles on Histosols but declined with each harvest on Spodosols. Overall, converting pasture to energy cane created a sink for GHGs on Spodosols and reduced the size of the GHG source on Histosols. This change was driven on both soil types by eliminating CH4 emissions from cattle and by the large increase in C uptake by greater biomass production in energy cane relative to pasture. However, the change from pasture to energy cane caused Histosols to lose 4493 g CO2 eq · m(-2 over 15 years of energy cane production. Cultivation of energy cane on former pasture on Spodosol soils in the southeast US has the potential for high biomass yield and the mitigation of GHG emissions.

  1. The assessment of water vapour and carbon dioxide fluxes above arable crops - a comparison of methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaaf, S.; Daemmgen, U.; Burkart, S. [Federal Agricultural Research Centre, Inst. of Agroecology, Braunschweig (Germany); Gruenhage, L. [Justus-Liebig-Univ., Inst. for Plant Ecology, Giessen (Germany)

    2005-04-01

    Vertical fluxes of water vapour and carbon dioxide obtained from gradient, eddy covariance (closed and open path systems) and chamber measurements above arable crops were compared with the directly measured energy balance and the harvested net biomass carbon. The gradient and chamber measurements were in the correct order of magnitude, whereas the closed path eddy covariance system showed unacceptably small fluxes. Correction methods based on power spectra analysis yielded increased fluxes. However, the energy balance could not be closed satisfactorily. The application of the open path system proved to be successful. The SVAT model PLATIN which had been adapted to various arable crops was able to depict the components of the energy balance adequately. Net carbon fluxes determined with the corrected closed path data sets, chamber, and SVAT model equal those of the harvested carbon. (orig.)

  2. The role of natural resource and environmental economics in determining the trade-offs in consumption and production of energy inputs: The case of biomass energy crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downing, M.; Graham, R.L.

    1993-12-31

    Natural resource economics issues deal with flows and funds of renewable and nonrenewable resources over time. These issues include topics concerned with management of fisheries, forests, mineral, energy resources, the extinction of species and the irreversibility of development over time. Environmental economics issues deal with regulation of polluting activities and the valuation of environmental amenities. In this study we outline a framework for studying both natural resource and environmental economics issues for any renewable or nonrenewable resource. Valuation from both the cost and benefit sides are addressed as they relate to the valuation of environmental programs or policies. By using this top-down approach to analyze and determine the costs and benefits of using renewable or nonrenewable resources, policy-makers on the global, national and local scales may be better informed as to the probable nonmarket and market ramifications of their natural resource and environmental policy decisions. This general framework for analysis is then focused to address biomass energy crops and their usage as inputs to energy production. As with any energy technology, a complete analysis must include an examination of the entire fuel cycle; specifically both production and consumption sides. From a production standpoint, market valuation issues such as crop management techniques, inputs to production, and community economics issues must be addressed as well as nonmarket valuation issues such as soil erosion, ground water effects and carbon sequestration. On the consumption side, market valuation considerations such as energy fuel efficiency and quality, cost of conversion and employment of labor are important factors while the critical nonmarket valuation factors are ambient air visibility, greenhouse gas release, and disposal of the by-products of conversion and combustion.

  3. The role of natural resource and environmental economics in determining the trade-offs in consumption and production of energy inputs: The case of biomass energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Downing , M.; Graham, R.L.

    1993-01-01

    Natural resource economics issues deal with flows and funds of renewable and nonrenewable resources over time. These issues include topics concerned with management of fisheries, forests, mineral, energy resources, the extinction of species and the irreversibility of development over time. Environmental economics issues deal with regulation of polluting activities and the valuation of environmental amenities. In this study we outline a framework for studying both natural resource and environmental economics issues for any renewable or nonrenewable resource. Valuation from both the cost and benefit sides are addressed as they relate to the valuation of environmental programs or policies. By using this top-down approach to analyze and determine the costs and benefits of using renewable or nonrenewable resources, policy-makers on the global, national and local scales may be better informed as to the probable nonmarket and market ramifications of their natural resource and environmental policy decisions. The general framework for analysis is then focused to address biomass energy crops and their usage as inputs to energy production. As with any energy technology, a complete analysis must include an examination of the entire fuel cycle; specifically both production and consumption sides. From a production standpoint, market valuation issues such as crop management techniques, inputs to production, and community economics issues must be addressed as well as nonmarket valuation issues such as soil erosion, ground water effects and carbon sequestration. On the consumption side, market valuation considerations such as energy fuel efficiency and quality, cost of conversion and employment of labor are important factors while the critical nonmarket valuation factors are ambient air visibility, greenhouse gas release, and disposal of the by-products of conversion and combustion

  4. The impacts of climate change on irrigation and crop production in Northeast China and implications for energy use and GHG Emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Tingting; Wang, Jinxia; Huang, Jikun; Xie, Wei; Zhu, Tingju

    2018-06-01

    The water-food-energy-GHG nexus under climate change has been gaining increasing attention from both the research and policy communities, especially over the past several years. However, most existing nexus studies are qualitative and explorative in nature. So far, very few studies provide integrated analysis of this nexus across all the four sectors. The purpose of this paper is to examine this nexus by assessing the effects of climate change on agricultural production through the change in water availability, evaluating the adjustment responses and resulting energy consumption and GHG emission, with the Northeast China as a case study. Based on our simulation results, by 2030, climate change is projected to increase water supply and demand gap for irrigation in Northeast China. Due to the increase in water scarcity, irrigated areas will decrease, and the cropping pattern will be adjusted by increasing maize sown areas and decreasing rice sown areas. As a result, the total output of crops and profits will clearly be reduced. Finally, energy consumption and GHG emission from irrigation will be reduced. This study suggests that climate change impact assessment fully consider the nexus among water, food, energy and GHG; however, more studies need to be conducted in the future.

  5. Integrated crop management practices for maximizing grain yield of double-season rice crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Depeng; Huang, Jianliang; Nie, Lixiao; Wang, Fei; Ling, Xiaoxia; Cui, Kehui; Li, Yong; Peng, Shaobing

    2017-01-01

    Information on maximum grain yield and its attributes are limited for double-season rice crop grown under the subtropical environment. This study was conducted to examine key characteristics associated with high yielding double-season rice crop through a comparison between an integrated crop management (ICM) and farmers’ practice (FP). Field experiments were conducted in the early and late seasons in the subtropical environment of Wuxue County, Hubei Province, China in 2013 and 2014. On average, grain yield in ICM was 13.5% higher than that in FP. A maximum grain yield of 9.40 and 10.53 t ha-1 was achieved under ICM in the early- and late-season rice, respectively. Yield improvement of double-season rice with ICM was achieved with the combined effects of increased plant density and optimized nutrient management. Yield gain of ICM resulted from a combination of increases in sink size due to more panicle number per unit area and biomass production, further supported by the increased leaf area index, leaf area duration, radiation use efficiency, crop growth rate, and total nitrogen uptake compared with FP. Further enhancement in the yield potential of double-season rice should focus on increasing crop growth rate and biomass production through improved and integrated crop management practices.

  6. Biological N2 Fixation by Chickpea in inter cropping System on Sand Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ismail, M. M.; Moursy, A. A. A.; Kotb, E. A.; Farid, I. M.

    2012-12-01

    A field experiment was carried out at the plant Nutrition and Fertilization Unit, Soils and Water Research Department, Nuclear Research Center, Atomic Energy Authority, Inshas, Egypt on wheat and chickpea inter cropping. The benefits of N 2 fixation by legumes to cereals growing in inter crops or to grasses growing in mixed swards are high clear. in cases the benefit to the N status of cereals has bee seen when they are inter cropped with legumes , where benefit is found ,it is mainly due to sparing of soil N rather than direct transfer from the legume. inter cropped wheat has a high grains yield as compared to those recorded under sole crop. The application of inter cropping system induced an increase of wheat grain yield against the sole system. regardless the cultivation system, the over all means of fertilizer rates indicated (50% MF + 50% OM) treatment was superiority (100% OM) and (75% MF + 25% OM) or those recorded with either un fertilizer when wheat grain yield considered. Comparison heed between organic sources reflected the superiority of under sole cultivation, while chickpea straw was the best under inter cropping. Inter cropped has a high grain N uptake compared to soil system. While totally organic materials had accumulates more N in grain than those of underrated treated control. In the same time, the overall mean indicated the superiority of compost treatment combined with 50% mineral fertilizer under inter cropping system over those of either only organic materials treatment or those combined with 75% mineral fertilizer. Plants treated of chickpea straw and compost, achieved the best value of straw weight. Among the organic manure treatments, chickpea straw and compost seem to be the best ones. Nitrogen derived from air (% Ndfa) shoots and seeds of chickpea plant: In case of cow manure and maize stalk, the best value of nitrogen derived from air was detected followed by compost, while the lowest value was recorded with wheat straw. In general

  7. Constraints to the potential efficiency of converting solar radiation into phytoenergy in annual crops: from leaf biochemistry to canopy physiology and crop ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Xinyou; Struik, Paul C

    2015-11-01

    A new simple framework was proposed to quantify the efficiency of converting incoming solar radiation into phytoenergy in annual crops. It emphasizes the need to account for (i) efficiency gain when scaling up from the leaf level to the canopy level, and (ii) efficiency loss due to incomplete canopy closure during early and late phases of the crop cycle. Equations are given to estimate losses due to the constraints in various biochemical or physiological steps. For a given amount of daily radiation, a longer daytime was shown to increase energy use efficiency, because of the convex shape of the photosynthetic light response. Due to the higher cyclic electron transport, C4 leaves were found to have a lower energy loss via non-photochemical quenching, compared with C3 leaves. This contributes to the more linear light response in C4 than in C3 photosynthesis. Because of this difference in the curvature of the light response, canopy-to-leaf photosynthesis ratio, benefit from the optimum acclimation of the leaf nitrogen profile in the canopy, and productivity gain from future improvements in leaf photosynthetic parameters and canopy architecture were all shown to be higher in C3 than in C4 species. The indicative efficiency of converting incoming solar radiation into phytoenergy is ~2.2 and 3.0% in present C3 and C4 crops, respectively, when grown under well-managed conditions. An achievable efficiency via future genetic improvement was estimated to be as high as 3.6 and 4.1% for C3 and C4 crops, respectively. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Engineering developments for small-scale harvest, storage and combustion of woody crops in Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savoie, P.; Ouellet-Plamondon, C.; Morissette, R.; Preto, F. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Quebec City, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Although wood remains an important source of energy for cooking and heating in developing countries, it has been largely replaced by fossil fuels, nuclear energy and hydroelectric power in developed countries. Given the need to diversify sources of energy, wood energy is being revitalized in developed countries. This paper reported on a current research program on woody crops at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The research involves the development of a woody crop harvester to collect small size trees in plantations as well as in natural growth. The harvested package is a small round bale that enables natural drying from about 50 per cent moisture at harvest, down to 30 and 20 per cent after 4 to 6 months of storage outside and under shelter, respectively. The combustion value of woody crops averaged 19.4 GJ/t on a dry matter basis with little variation. The woody crops can be pulverized into fine particles, dried artificially to 10 per cent moisture content and processed into pellets for combustion. In a practical trial, more than 7.5 MJ/t DM were needed to produce pellets without providing more energy than coarse wood chips. The rural applications for this biomass include heating community and farm buildings and drying crops. These applications can use locally grown woody crops such as willow, or forest residues such as branches and bark in the form of chips to replace fossil energy sources.

  9. Comparative table of various energy sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1976-08-01

    This table provides wide informations on the technological facets of various sources of primary energy. One of the outstanding features of this table is that it exposes and compares various technological problems involved in the energy conversion processes. The primary energy sources treated here are the solar energy (heat and light are treated separately), the geothermal energy, coal (gasification and liquefaction are treated separately), oil, natural gas, oceano-energy (tidal energy, temperature difference, and wave energy are treated separately), organic wastes, oil shale, tar sand, hydraulic power, wind power, biomass, uranium, thorium, and deuterium and lithium. On the other hand, the comparisons are made in three major items, i.e. charactersitics as natural resources, conversion or refinement to secondary energy sources, and economical characteristics. The first item includes the estimated and recognized amount of deposits, easiness of mining, storage, and transportation, and cleanliness and safety. As for conversion characteristics, the easiness, controlability, efficiency, cleanliness, and safety of various conversion processes are compared. Finally, as for economical problems, cost comparisons are made for gathering or mining those resources, including required energy input, man power, required facilities, and site conditions.

  10. Production of biomass/energy crops on phosphatic clay soils in central Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stricker, J.A. [Univ. of Florida, Bartow, FL (United States); Prine, G.M.; Woodard, K.R. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Anderson, D.L. [Univ. of Florida, Belle Glade, FL (United States); Shibles, D.B.; Riddle, T.C. [Mined Lands Agricultural Research/Demonstration Project, Bartow, FL (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Phosphatic clay is a byproduct of phosphate mining. Presently more than 40,470 ha have been created, most in central Florida, and about 810 ha are being added each year. Phosphatic clays have high fertility and high water holding capacity, reducing fertilization costs and producing high yields without irrigation. Based on 10 years of research, scientists have selected tall annual-regenerating perennial C-4 grasses as having the greatest potential for biomass production in Florida. The purpose of this work was to determine the feasibility of growing these tall perennial grasses for biomass on phosphatic clay. Elephantgrass, sugarcane and energycane, and erianthus were planted in duplicate replications on phosphatic clay soil in late August, 1986. yield was measured by one harvest in December or January each year for four years. Nitrogen fertilization included 112 kg ha{sup {minus}1} the first year followed by 134 kg ha{sup {minus}1} for the next three years. Nitrogen is the only supplemental nutrient needed to grow all tall grass crops on phosphatic clay. The average annual oven dry matter yield over the 4-yr period was 36.3 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for PI 300086 elephantgrass, 45.2 for N51 elephantgrass, 42.5 for L79-1002 energycane, 49.0 for US72-1153 energycane, 49.7 for US78-1009 sugarcane, 52.2 for US56-9 sugarcane, 56.2 for CP72-1210 sugarcane, and 48.8 for 1K-7647 erianthus. More recent work has utilized domestic sewage sludge as a nitrogen source for the tall grasses. Preliminary sugar yields of selected sugarcane accessions & sweet sorghum were 4.7 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for CP72-1210, 12.5 for US67-2022, 3.4 for US78-1009 and 1.3 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for sweet sorghum. The high yields of the tall grasses grown on phosphatic clay with low inputs indicate a great potential for these crops as a source of renewable energy. A sustainable cropping system may be maintained by utilizing municipal sewage sludge as a nitrogen source with tall grasses on phosphatic clay.

  11. Bioenergy crop models: Descriptions, data requirements and future challenges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Kang, Shujiang [ORNL; Zhang, Xuesong [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); Miguez, Fernando [Iowa State University; Izaurralde, Dr. R. Cesar [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Dietze, Michael [University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Lynd, L. [Dartmouth College; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    Field studies that address the production of lignocellulosic biomass as a source of renewable energy provide critical data for the development of bioenergy crop models. A literature survey revealed that 14 models have been used for simulating bioenergy crops including herbaceous and woody bioenergy crops, and for crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) crops. These models simulate field-scale production of biomass for switchgrass (ALMANAC, EPIC, and Agro-BGC), miscanthus (MISCANFOR, MISCANMOD, and WIMOVAC), sugarcane (APSIM, AUSCANE, and CANEGRO), and poplar and willow (SECRETS and 3PG). Two models are adaptations of dynamic global vegetation models and simulate biomass yields of miscanthus and sugarcane at regional scales (Agro-IBIS and LPJmL). Although it lacks the complexity of other bioenergy crop models, the environmental productivity index (EPI) is the only model used to estimate biomass production of CAM (Agave and Opuntia) plants. Except for the EPI model, all models include representations of leaf area dynamics, phenology, radiation interception and utilization, biomass production, and partitioning of biomass to roots and shoots. A few models simulate soil water, nutrient, and carbon cycle dynamics, making them especially useful for assessing the environmental consequences (e.g., erosion and nutrient losses) associated with the large-scale deployment of bioenergy crops. The rapid increase in use of models for energy crop simulation is encouraging; however, detailed information on the influence of climate, soils, and crop management practices on biomass production is scarce. Thus considerable work remains regarding the parameterization and validation of process-based models for bioenergy crops; generation and distribution of high-quality field data for model development and validation; and implementation of an integrated framework for efficient, high-resolution simulations of biomass production for use in planning sustainable bioenergy systems.

  12. Simulating the effects of climate and agricultural management practices on global crop yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deryng, D.; Sacks, W. J.; Barford, C. C.; Ramankutty, N.

    2011-06-01

    Climate change is expected to significantly impact global food production, and it is important to understand the potential geographic distribution of yield losses and the means to alleviate them. This study presents a new global crop model, PEGASUS 1.0 (Predicting Ecosystem Goods And Services Using Scenarios) that integrates, in addition to climate, the effect of planting dates and cultivar choices, irrigation, and fertilizer application on crop yield for maize, soybean, and spring wheat. PEGASUS combines carbon dynamics for crops with a surface energy and soil water balance model. It also benefits from the recent development of a suite of global data sets and analyses that serve as model inputs or as calibration data. These include data on crop planting and harvesting dates, crop-specific irrigated areas, a global analysis of yield gaps, and harvested area and yield of major crops. Model results for present-day climate and farm management compare reasonably well with global data. Simulated planting and harvesting dates are within the range of crop calendar observations in more than 75% of the total crop-harvested areas. Correlation of simulated and observed crop yields indicates a weighted coefficient of determination, with the weighting based on crop-harvested area, of 0.81 for maize, 0.66 for soybean, and 0.45 for spring wheat. We found that changes in temperature and precipitation as predicted by global climate models for the 2050s lead to a global yield reduction if planting and harvesting dates remain unchanged. However, adapting planting dates and cultivar choices increases yield in temperate regions and avoids 7-18% of global losses.

  13. Bioenergy Sorghum Crop Model Predicts VPD-Limited Transpiration Traits Enhance Biomass Yield in Water-Limited Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Sandra K; McCormick, Ryan F; Mullet, John E

    2017-01-01

    Bioenergy sorghum is targeted for production in water-limited annual cropland therefore traits that improve plant water capture, water use efficiency, and resilience to water deficit are necessary to maximize productivity. A crop modeling framework, APSIM, was adapted to predict the growth and biomass yield of energy sorghum and to identify potentially useful traits for crop improvement. APSIM simulations of energy sorghum development and biomass accumulation replicated results from field experiments across multiple years, patterns of rainfall, and irrigation schemes. Modeling showed that energy sorghum's long duration of vegetative growth increased water capture and biomass yield by ~30% compared to short season crops in a water-limited production region. Additionally, APSIM was extended to enable modeling of VPD-limited transpiration traits that reduce crop water use under high vapor pressure deficits (VPDs). The response of transpiration rate to increasing VPD was modeled as a linear response until a VPD threshold was reached, at which the slope of the response decreases, representing a range of responses to VPD observed in sorghum germplasm. Simulation results indicated that the VPD-limited transpiration trait is most beneficial in hot and dry regions of production where crops are exposed to extended periods without rainfall during the season or to a terminal drought. In these environments, slower but more efficient transpiration increases biomass yield and prevents or delays the exhaustion of soil water and onset of leaf senescence. The VPD-limited transpiration responses observed in sorghum germplasm increased biomass accumulation by 20% in years with lower summer rainfall, and the ability to drastically reduce transpiration under high VPD conditions could increase biomass by 6% on average across all years. This work indicates that the productivity and resilience of bioenergy sorghum grown in water-limited environments could be further enhanced by development

  14. Food Security and Staple Crops. Staple Food Around the World

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kilian, Lizette

    2012-01-01

    Of more than 50,000 edible plant species in the world, only a few hundred contribute significantly to our food supplies. Almost all of the world’s food energy intake is satisfied by just a few crop plants. Rice, maize and wheat make up two-thirds of this already small group of foods. These three grains are the staple foods for more than four billion people both as a source of nutrition and income. A staple crop, by definition, dominates the major part of our diet and supplies a major proportion of our energy and nutrient needs. If staple crops are threatened by drought, pests or nutrient-poor soils, hunger and poverty can rise dramatically.

  15. Sublethal effects of the herbicide glufosinate ammonium on crops and wild plants: short-term effects compared to vegetative recovery and plant reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, David; Boutin, Céline

    2010-10-01

    Current guidelines for phytotoxicity testing rely heavily on short-term testing of primarily crop species to predict the sensitivity of non-target, wild plants to herbicides. However, little is known on how plants recover following initial growth inhibitions in standard 14-28 day greenhouse tests conducted for pesticide assessment and registration. The objectives of this study were to assess the ability of plant species to recover (biomass and reproduction) when tested at the juvenile stage (routine regulatory testing), comparing crop and wild species and using the herbicide glufosinate ammonium. Ten crops and 10 wild species were tested with a one-time exposure to glufosinate ammonium in a greenhouse. Half the plants of each species (9 doses × 6 replicates) were harvested 3 weeks after being sprayed (short-term). The remaining plants were harvested several weeks later, coinciding with seed set or natural senescence (long-term). Total aboveground biomass and several endpoints related to crop production and plant reproduction were measured. Calculated IC50 values (dosage that results in a 50% decrease in the biomass of a plant as compared to the untreated controls) based solely on aboveground biomass, for species harvested in the long-term were generally higher than those obtained in the short-term (with two exceptions), indicating recovery over time. Crop species did not differ from wild species in terms of sensitivity. However, in seven out of 12 cases where reproduction was measurable, reproductive endpoints were more sensitive than either short or long-term biomass endpoints, indicating the importance of examining these parameters in phytotoxicity testing. Glufosinate ammonium was found to be phytotoxic at low doses (2.64-7.74% g ai/ha of the label rate).

  16. ORCHIDEE-CROP (v0), a new process-based agro-land surface model: model description and evaluation over Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, X.; Vuichard, N.; Ciais, P.; Viovy, N.; de Noblet-Ducoudré, N.; Wang, X.; Magliulo, V.; Wattenbach, M.; Vitale, L.; Di Tommasi, P.; Moors, E. J.; Jans, W.; Elbers, J.; Ceschia, E.; Tallec, T.; Bernhofer, C.; Grünwald, T.; Moureaux, C.; Manise, T.; Ligne, A.; Cellier, P.; Loubet, B.; Larmanou, E.; Ripoche, D.

    2016-03-01

    The response of crops to changing climate and atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) could have large effects on food production, and impact carbon, water, and energy fluxes, causing feedbacks to the climate. To simulate the response of temperate crops to changing climate and [CO2], which accounts for the specific phenology of crops mediated by management practice, we describe here the development of a process-oriented terrestrial biogeochemical model named ORCHIDEE-CROP (v0), which integrates a generic crop phenology and harvest module, and a very simple parameterization of nitrogen fertilization, into the land surface model (LSM) ORCHIDEEv196, in order to simulate biophysical and biochemical interactions in croplands, as well as plant productivity and harvested yield. The model is applicable for a range of temperate crops, but is tested here using maize and winter wheat, with the phenological parameterizations of two European varieties originating from the STICS agronomical model. We evaluate the ORCHIDEE-CROP (v0) model against eddy covariance and biometric measurements at seven winter wheat and maize sites in Europe. The specific ecosystem variables used in the evaluation are CO2 fluxes (net ecosystem exchange, NEE), latent heat, and sensible heat fluxes. Additional measurements of leaf area index (LAI) and aboveground biomass and yield are used as well. Evaluation results revealed that ORCHIDEE-CROP (v0) reproduced the observed timing of crop development stages and the amplitude of the LAI changes. This is in contrast to ORCHIDEEv196 where, by default, crops have the same phenology as grass. A halving of the root mean square error for LAI from 2.38 ± 0.77 to 1.08 ± 0.34 m2 m-2 was obtained when ORCHIDEEv196 and ORCHIDEE-CROP (v0) were compared across the seven study sites. Improved crop phenology and carbon allocation led to a good match between modeled and observed aboveground biomass (with a normalized root mean squared error (NRMSE) of 11.0-54.2 %), crop

  17. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical Framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Shujiang [ORNL; Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Nichols, Dr Jeff A [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Brandt, Craig C [ORNL; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL; Wei, Yaxing [ORNL; Singh, Nagendra [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    A global energy crop productivity model that provides geospatially explicit quantitative details on biomass potential and factors affecting sustainability would be useful, but does not exist now. This study describes a modeling platform capable of meeting many challenges associated with global-scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed an analytical framework for bioenergy crops consisting of six major components: (i) standardized natural resources datasets, (ii) global field-trial data and crop management practices, (iii) simulation units and management scenarios, (iv) model calibration and validation, (v) high-performance computing (HPC) simulation, and (vi) simulation output processing and analysis. The HPC-Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (HPC-EPIC) model simulated a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), estimating feedstock production potentials and effects across the globe. This modeling platform can assess soil C sequestration, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, nonpoint source pollution (e.g., nutrient and pesticide loss), and energy exchange with the atmosphere. It can be expanded to include additional bioenergy crops (e.g., miscanthus, energy cane, and agave) and food crops under different management scenarios. The platform and switchgrass field-trial dataset are available to support global analysis of biomass feedstock production potential and corresponding metrics of sustainability.

  18. Mitigating Groundwater Depletion in North China Plain with Cropping System that Alternate Deep and Shallow Rooted Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Lin Yang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In the North China Plain, groundwater tables have been dropping at unsustainable rates of 1 m per year due to irrigation of a double cropping system of winter wheat and summer maize. To reverse the trend, we examined whether alternative crop rotations could save water. Moisture contents were measured weekly at 20 cm intervals in the top 180 cm of soil as part of a 12-year field experiment with four crop rotations: sweet potato→ cotton→ sweet potato→ winter wheat-summer maize (SpCSpWS, 4-year cycle; peanuts → winter wheat-summer maize (PWS, 2-year cycle; ryegrass–cotton→ peanuts→ winter wheat-summer maize (RCPWS, 3-year cycle; and winter wheat-summer maize (WS, each year. We found that, compared to WS, the SpCSpWS annual evapotranspiration was 28% lower, PWS was 19% lower and RCPWS was 14% lower. The yield per unit of water evaporated improved for wheat within any alternative rotation compared to WS, increasing up to 19%. Average soil moisture contents at the sowing date of wheat in the SpCSpWS, PWS, and RCPWS rotations were 7, 4, and 10% higher than WS, respectively. The advantage of alternative rotations was that a deep rooted crop of winter wheat reaching down to 180 cm followed shallow rooted crops (sweet potato and peanut drawing soil moisture from 0 to 120 cm. They benefited from the sequencing and vertical complementarity of soil moisture extraction. Thus, replacing the traditional crop rotation with cropping system that involves rotating with annual shallow rooted crops is promising for reducing groundwater depletion in the North China Plain.

  19. Laboratory investigations on continuous bio-methanization of energy crops as mono-substrate without supplementation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demirel, Burak

    2009-01-01

    Continuous bio-methanization of an energy crop, namely the beet silage, was investigated in this laboratory-scale work as mono-substrate, using a mesophilic biogas digester controlled by a fuzzy logic control (FLC) technique and without using any supplementing or buffering agent, despite the low pH of the substrate around 3.80. The temperature, pH, redox potential (ORP), daily biogas production and composition of digester biogas were continuously measured online. During the operation, the hydraulic retention time (HRT) varied between 24.8 and 9 days, as the organic loading rate (OLR) ranged from 2.6 to 4.7 g L -1 d -1 . The average pH, specific gas production rate (spec. GPR) and volumetric gas production rate (vol. GPR) were determined to be 7.12, 0.31 L g VS -1 d -1 and 1.084 L L -1 d -1 , respectively. The average methane (CH 4 ) content of digester biogas was about 56%. The FLC technique, which was developed at HAW Hamburg for anaerobic conversion of acidic energy crops to methane, determined the daily feeding volume (∼ OLR/HRT) for the biogas digester, depending on the feedback from online pH and methane measurements, and on the calculation of the spec. GPR. The spec. GPR was calculated by the corrected daily biogas production. Through online monitoring of pH, biogas production rate and composition, and by use of the FLC technique, the acidic beet silage could continuously be converted to biogas, without using manure or any other kind of buffering or supplementing agent(s). The lab-scale anaerobic biogas digester performed stable and safe, without encountering any problems of instability, as indicated by an adequate amount of buffering capacity, a VFA content below 0.5 g L -1 and a neutral pH range throughout the study.

  20. Using the DNDC model to compare soil organic carbon dynamics under different crop rotation and fertilizer strategies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mu, L.; Liang, Y.; Xue, Q.; Chen, C.; Lin, X.

    2014-06-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a vital role in determining soil fertility, water holding capacity and susceptibility to land degradation. On the Chinese Loess Plateau, a large amount of crop residues is regularly removed; therefore, this agricultural area mainly depends on fertilizer inputs to maintain crop yields. This paper aims to use a computer simulation model (DeNitrification and DeComposition, or DNDC) to estimate the changes of SOC content and crop yield from 1998 to 2047 under different cropping systems, providing some strategies to maintain the SOC in balance and to increase crop yields. The results demonstrated that: (i) single manure application or combined with nitrogen fertilizer could significantly enhance the SOC content and crop yield on the sloped land, terraced field and flat land; and (ii) in contrast to sloped land and terraced field, the SOC content and crop yield both continuously increased in flat fields, indicating that the flat field in this region is a good soil surface for carbon sequestration. These results emphasize that application of manure combined with nitrogen fertilizer would be a better management practice to achieve a goal of increasing soil carbon sequestration and food security. (Author)

  1. Improved Satellite-based Crop Yield Mapping by Spatially Explicit Parameterization of Crop Phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Z.; Azzari, G.; Lobell, D. B.

    2016-12-01

    Field-scale mapping of crop yields with satellite data often relies on the use of crop simulation models. However, these approaches can be hampered by inaccuracies in the simulation of crop phenology. Here we present and test an approach to use dense time series of Landsat 7 and 8 acquisitions data to calibrate various parameters related to crop phenology simulation, such as leaf number and leaf appearance rates. These parameters are then mapped across the Midwestern United States for maize and soybean, and for two different simulation models. We then implement our recently developed Scalable satellite-based Crop Yield Mapper (SCYM) with simulations reflecting the improved phenology parameterizations, and compare to prior estimates based on default phenology routines. Our preliminary results show that the proposed method can effectively alleviate the underestimation of early-season LAI by the default Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM), and that spatially explicit parameterization for the phenology model substantially improves the SCYM performance in capturing the spatiotemporal variation in maize and soybean yield. The scheme presented in our study thus preserves the scalability of SCYM, while significantly reducing its uncertainty.

  2. A Comparative Nitrogen Balance and Productivity Analysis of Legume and Non-legume Supported Cropping Systems: The Potential Role of Biological Nitrogen Fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iannetta, Pietro P M; Young, Mark; Bachinger, Johann; Bergkvist, Göran; Doltra, Jordi; Lopez-Bellido, Rafael J; Monti, Michele; Pappa, Valentini A; Reckling, Moritz; Topp, Cairistiona F E; Walker, Robin L; Rees, Robert M; Watson, Christine A; James, Euan K; Squire, Geoffrey R; Begg, Graham S

    2016-01-01

    The potential of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) to provide sufficient N for production has encouraged re-appraisal of cropping systems that deploy legumes. It has been argued that legume-derived N can maintain productivity as an alternative to the application of mineral fertilizer, although few studies have systematically evaluated the effect of optimizing the balance between legumes and non N-fixing crops to optimize production. In addition, the shortage, or even absence in some regions, of measurements of BNF in crops and forages severely limits the ability to design and evaluate new legume-based agroecosystems. To provide an indication of the magnitude of BNF in European agriculture, a soil-surface N-balance approach was applied to historical data from 8 experimental cropping systems that compared legume and non-legume crop types (e.g., grains, forages and intercrops) across pedoclimatic regions of Europe. Mean BNF for different legume types ranged from 32 to 115 kg ha -1 annually. Output in terms of total biomass (grain, forage, etc.) was 30% greater in non-legumes, which used N to produce dry matter more efficiently than legumes, whereas output of N was greater from legumes. When examined over the crop sequence, the contribution of BNF to the N-balance increased to reach a maximum when the legume fraction was around 0.5 (legume crops were present in half the years). BNF was lower when the legume fraction increased to 0.6-0.8, not because of any feature of the legume, but because the cropping systems in this range were dominated by mixtures of legume and non-legume forages to which inorganic N as fertilizer was normally applied. Forage (e.g., grass and clover), as opposed to grain crops in this range maintained high outputs of biomass and N. In conclusion, BNF through grain and forage legumes has the potential to generate major benefit in terms of reducing or dispensing with the need for mineral N without loss of total output.

  3. A comparative nitrogen balance and productivity analysis of legume and non-legume supported cropping systems: the potential role of biological nitrogen fixation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro P M Iannetta

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The potential of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF to provide sufficient N for production have encouraged re-appraisal of cropping systems that deploy legumes. It has been argued that legume-derived N can maintain productivity as an alternative to the application of mineral fertiliser, although few studies have systematically evaluated the effect of optimising the balance between legumes and non N-fixing crops to optimise production. In addition, the shortage, or even absence in some regions, of measurements of BNF in crops and forages severely limits the ability to design and evaluate new, legume–based agroecosystems. To provide an indication of the magnitude of BNF in European agriculture, a soil-surface N-balance approach was applied to historical data from 8 experimental cropping systems that compared legume and non-legume crop types (e.g. grains, forages and intercrops across pedoclimatic regions of Europe. Mean BNF for different legume types ranged from 32-115 kg ha-1 annually. Output in terms of total biomass (grain, forage, etc. was 30% greater in non-legumes, which used N to produce dry matter more efficiently than legumes, whereas output of N was greater from legumes. When examined over the crop sequence, the contribution of BNF to the N-balance increased to reach a maximum when the legume fraction was around 0.5 (legume crops were present in half the years. BNF was lower when the legume fraction increased to 0.6-0.8, not because of any feature of the legume, but because the cropping systems in this range were dominated by mixtures of legume and non-legume forages to which inorganic N as fertiliser was normally applied. Forage (e.g. grass and clover, as opposed to grain crops in this range maintained high outputs of biomass and N. In conclusion, BNF through grain and forage legumes have the potential to generate major benefit in terms of reducing or dispensing with the need for mineral N without loss of total output.

  4. Studies on the effects of application of different foliar fertilizer materials, crop residue and inter cropping on Banana plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hassan, Yusuf Munim [Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Khartoum (Sudan)

    1997-12-31

    Five separate experiments were conducted at university of Khartoum demonstration farm during 1993 to 1995 under both orchard and nursery conditions to evaluate the effect of foliar application of different fertilizers, use of crop residue and intercropping on banana (dwarf cavendish). In the first experiment, the effects of foliar application of different concentrations of potassium solution (38%) were studied. The results indicated that application of all concentrations resulted in greater increases in overall growth parameters, higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents, higher values of yield and yield components , finger length of both plant crop and the first ratoon crop and reduction of time from planting to flowering and from flowering to harvesting of both plant crop and the first crop compared to the control. In the second experiment, the effects of three different foliar fertilizers, namely, compound cryst, fetrilon comb-2 and x-garden were investigated. The results revealed that all fertilizers gave greater values of all growth parameters, higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents, higher values of yield and yield components , finger length of both plant crop and the first ratoon crop and reduction of time from planting to flowering and from flowering to harvesting of both plant crop and the first crop compared to the control. In the third experiment, the effect of four different fertilizer materials containing different combinations of NPK on growth parameters and nutrient elements contents of leaves of banana suckers grown under nursery conditions was evaluated. The results revealed that all fertilizer materials gave greater increases of growth parameters over the control as well as higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents. In the fourth experiment, the effect of different concentrations of N{sub 19}, P{sub 19}, K{sub 19} fertilizers on growth characteristics and nutrient elements contents of leaves of banana

  5. Studies on the effects of application of different foliar fertilizer materials, crop residue and inter cropping on Banana plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassan, Yusuf Munim

    1996-01-01

    Five separate experiments were conducted at university of Khartoum demonstration farm during 1993 to 1995 under both orchard and nursery conditions to evaluate the effect of foliar application of different fertilizers, use of crop residue and intercropping on banana (dwarf cavendish). In the first experiment, the effects of foliar application of different concentrations of potassium solution (38%) were studied. The results indicated that application of all concentrations resulted in greater increases in overall growth parameters, higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents, higher values of yield and yield components , finger length of both plant crop and the first ratoon crop and reduction of time from planting to flowering and from flowering to harvesting of both plant crop and the first crop compared to the control. In the second experiment, the effects of three different foliar fertilizers, namely, compound cryst, fetrilon comb-2 and x-garden were investigated. The results revealed that all fertilizers gave greater values of all growth parameters, higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents, higher values of yield and yield components , finger length of both plant crop and the first ratoon crop and reduction of time from planting to flowering and from flowering to harvesting of both plant crop and the first crop compared to the control. In the third experiment, the effect of four different fertilizer materials containing different combinations of NPK on growth parameters and nutrient elements contents of leaves of banana suckers grown under nursery conditions was evaluated. The results revealed that all fertilizer materials gave greater increases of growth parameters over the control as well as higher leaf-N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu contents. In the fourth experiment, the effect of different concentrations of N 19 , P 19 , K 19 fertilizers on growth characteristics and nutrient elements contents of leaves of banana suckers was

  6. Errors in measuring absorbed radiation and computing crop radiation use efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallo, K.P.; Daughtry, C.S.T.; Wiegand, C.L.

    1993-01-01

    Radiation use efficiency (RUE) is often a crucial component of crop growth models that relate dry matter production to energy received by the crop. RUE is a ratio that has units g J -1 , if defined as phytomass per unit of energy received, and units J J -1 , if defined as the energy content of phytomass per unit of energy received. Both the numerator and denominator in computation of RUE can vary with experimental assumptions and methodologies. The objectives of this study were to examine the effect that different methods of measuring the numerator and denominator have on the RUE of corn (Zea mays L.) and to illustrate this variation with experimental data. Computational methods examined included (i) direct measurements of the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed (f A ), (ii) estimates of f A derived from leaf area index (LAI), and (iii) estimates of f A derived from spectral vegetation indices. Direct measurements of absorbed PAR from planting to physiological maturity of corn were consistently greater than the indirect estimates based on green LAI or the spectral vegetation indices. Consequently, the RUE calculated using directly measured absorbed PAR was lower than the RUE calculated using the indirect measures of absorbed PAR. For crops that contain senesced vegetation, green LAI and the spectral vegetation indices provide appropriate estimates of the fraction of PAR absorbed by a crop canopy and, thus, accurate estimates of crop radiation use efficiency

  7. MINIMIZE ENERGY AND COSTS REQUIREMENT OF WEEDING AND FERTILIZING PROCESS FOR FIBER CROPS IN SMALL FARMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarek FOUDA

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The experimental work was carried out through agricultural summer season of 2014 at the experimental farm of Gemmiza Research Station, Gharbiya governorate to minimize energy and costs in weeding and fertilizing processes for fiber crops (Kenaf and Roselle in small farms. The manufactured multipurpose unit performance was studied as a function of change in machine forward speed (2.2, 2.8, 3.4 and 4 Km/h fertilizing rates (30,45 and 60 Kg.N.fed-1,and constant soil moisture content was 20%(d.b in average. Performance of the manufactured machine was evaluated in terms of fuel consumption, power and energy requirements, effective field capacity, theoretical field capacity, field efficiency, and operational costs as a machine measurements .The experiment results reveled that the manufactured machine decreased energy and increased effective field capacity and efficiency under the following conditions: -machine forward speed 2.2Kmlh. -moisture content average 20%.

  8. Application of water footprint combined with a unified virtual crop pattern to evaluate crop water productivity in grain production in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y B; Wu, P T; Engel, B A; Sun, S K

    2014-11-01

    Water shortages are detrimental to China's grain production while food production consumes a great deal of water causing water crises and ecological impacts. Increasing crop water productivity (CWP) is critical, so China is devoting significant resources to develop water-saving agricultural systems based on crop planning and agricultural water conservation planning. A comprehensive CWP index is necessary for such planning. Existing indices such as water use efficiency (WUE) and irrigation efficiency (IE) have limitations and are not suitable for the comprehensive evaluation of CWP. The water footprint (WF) index, calculated using effective precipitation and local water use, has advantages for CWP evaluation. Due to regional differences in crop patterns making the CWP difficult to compare directly across different regions, a unified virtual crop pattern is needed to calculate the WF. This project calculated and compared the WF of each grain crop and the integrated WFs of grain products with actual and virtual crop patterns in different regions of China for 2010. The results showed that there were significant differences for the WF among different crops in the same area or among different areas for the same crop. Rice had the highest WF at 1.39 m(3)/kg, while corn had the lowest at 0.91 m(3)/kg among the main grain crops. The WF of grain products was 1.25 m(3)/kg in China. Crop patterns had an important impact on WF of grain products because significant differences in WF were found between actual and virtual crop patterns in each region. The CWP level can be determined based on the WF of a virtual crop pattern, thereby helping optimize spatial distribution of crops and develop agricultural water savings to increase CWP. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Introduction to energy balance of biomass production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manzanares, P.

    1997-01-01

    During last years, energy crops have been envisaged as an interesting alternative to biomass residues utilization as renewable energy source. In this work, main parameters used in calculating the energy balance of an energy crop are analyzed. The approach consists of determining energy equivalents for the different inputs and outputs of the process, thus obtaining energy ratios of the system, useful to determine if the energy balance is positive, that is, if the system generates energy. Energy costs for inputs and assessment approaches for energy crop yields (output) are provided. Finally, as a way of illustration, energy balances of some representative energy crops are shown. (Author) 15 refs

  10. Dependency of global primary bioenergy crop potentials in 2050 on food systems, yields, biodiversity conservation and political stability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Erb, Karl-Heinz; Haberl, Helmut; Plutzar, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    The future bioenergy crop potential depends on (1) changes in the food system (food demand, agricultural technology), (2) political stability and investment security, (3) biodiversity conservation, (4) avoidance of long carbon payback times from deforestation, and (5) energy crop yields. Using a biophysical biomass-balance model, we analyze how these factors affect global primary bioenergy potentials in 2050. The model calculates biomass supply and demand balances for eleven world regions, eleven food categories, seven food crop types and two livestock categories, integrating agricultural forecasts and scenarios with a consistent global land use and NPP database. The TREND scenario results in a global primary bioenergy potential of 77 EJ/yr, alternative assumptions on food-system changes result in a range of 26–141 EJ/yr. Exclusion of areas for biodiversity conservation and inaccessible land in failed states reduces the bioenergy potential by up to 45%. Optimistic assumptions on future energy crop yields increase the potential by up to 48%, while pessimistic assumptions lower the potential by 26%. We conclude that the design of sustainable bioenergy crop production policies needs to resolve difficult trade-offs such as food vs. energy supply, renewable energy vs. biodiversity conservation or yield growth vs. reduction of environmental problems of intensive agriculture. - Highlights: ► Global energy crop potentials in 2050 are calculated with a biophysical biomass-balance model. ► The study is focused on dedicated energy crops, forestry and residues are excluded. ► Depending on food-system change, global energy crop potentials range from 26–141 EJ/yr. ► Exclusion of protected areas and failed states may reduce the potential up to 45%. ► The bioenergy potential may be 26% lower or 45% higher, depending on energy crop yields.

  11. Potential soil quality impact of harvesting crop residues for bio fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karlen, D.

    2011-01-01

    We are in one of the greatest technological, environmental and social transitions since the industrial revolution, as we strive to replace fossil energy with renewable biomass resources. My objectives are to (1) briefly review increased public interest in harvesting crop residues as feedstock for bio energy, (2) discuss the work soil scientists must do to address those interests, and (3) examine how soil quality assessment can be used to help quantify soil biological, chemical and physical response to this transition. Rising global energy demand, dependence on unstable imports, volatility in price, and increasing public concern regarding fossil fuel combustion effects on global climate change are among the factors leading to an increased interest in development and use of renewable biomass sources for energy production. Although controlling soil erosion by wind and water is no less important than in the past, it is not the only factor that needs to be considered when evaluating the sustain ability of land management practices including harvest of crop residues as bio energy feedstock. The concept of soil quality assessment is reviewed and the Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) is used to illustrate how such assessments can be used for assessing impacts of harvesting crop residue as feedstock for bio energy production. Preliminary results of the SMAF assessment show that soil organic carbon (SOC) is one of the lower scoring indicators and therefore needs to be monitored closely. Innovative soil and crop management strategies, including a landscape vision are offered as ideas for achieving sustainable food, feed, fiber, and energy production

  12. Process-based humidity control regime for greenhouse crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Korner, O.; Challa, H.

    2003-01-01

    Modern greenhouses in The Netherlands are designed for efficient use of energy. Climate control traditionally aims at optimal crop performance. However, energy saving is a major issue for the development of new temperature regimes. Temperature integration (TI) results in fluctuating and often high

  13. Multi-Product Crops for Agricultural and Energy Production : an AGE Analysis for Poland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ignaciuk, A.; Dellink, R.B.

    2005-01-01

    By-products from agriculture and forestry can contribute to production of clean and cheap (bio)electricity. To assess the role of such multi-product crops in the response to climate policies, we present an applied general equilibrium model with special attention to biomass and multi-product crops

  14. [Biofuels, food security and transgenic crops].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

    Soaring global food prices are threatening to push more poor people back below the poverty line; this will probably become aggravated by the serious challenge that increasing population and climate changes are posing for food security. There is growing evidence that human activities involving fossil fuel consumption and land use are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and consequently changing the climate worldwide. The finite nature of fossil fuel reserves is causing concern about energy security and there is a growing interest in the use of renewable energy sources such as biofuels. There is growing concern regarding the fact that biofuels are currently produced from food crops, thereby leading to an undesirable competition for their use as food and feed. Nevertheless, biofuels can be produced from other feedstocks such as lingo-cellulose from perennial grasses, forestry and vegetable waste. Biofuel energy content should not be exceeded by that of the fossil fuel invested in its production to ensure that it is energetically sustainable; however, biofuels must also be economically competitive and environmentally acceptable. Climate change and biofuels are challenging FAO efforts aimed at eradicating hunger worldwide by the next decade. Given that current crops used in biofuel production have not been domesticated for this purpose, transgenic technology can offer an enormous contribution towards improving biofuel crops' environmental and economic performance. The present paper critically presents some relevant relationships between biofuels, food security and transgenic plant technology.

  15. Short rotation woody crops: Using agroforestry technology for energy in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, L.L.; Ranney, J.W.

    1991-01-01

    Agroforestry in the United States is being primarily defined as the process of using trees in agricultural systems for conservation purposes and multiple products. The type of agroforestry most commonly practiced in many parts of the world, that is the planting of tree crops in combination with food crops or pasture, is the type least commonly practiced in the United States. One type of agroforestry technique, which is beginning now and anticipated to expand to several million acres in the United States, is the planting of short-rotation woody crops (SRWCs) primarily to provide fiber and fuel. Research on SRWC's and environmental concerns are described

  16. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreasen, L.M.; Boon, A.D.

    1992-01-01

    Surplus cereal production in the EEC and decreasing product prices, mainly for cereals, has prompted considerable interest for new earnings in arable farming. The objective was to examine whether suggested new crops (fibre, oil, medicinal and alternative grains crops) could be considered as real alternatives. Whether a specific crop can compete economically with cereals and whether there is a market demand for the crop is analyzed. The described possibilities will result in ca. 50,000 hectares of new crops. It is expected that they would not immediately provide increased earnings, but in the long run expected price developments are more positive than for cereals. The area for new crops will not solve the current surplus cereal problem as the area used for new crops is only 3% of that used for cereals. Preconditions for many new crops is further research activities and development work as well as the establishment of processing units and organizational initiatives. Presumably, it is stated, there will then be a basis for a profitable production of new crops for some farmers. (AB) (47 refs.)

  17. Changing pollutants to green biogases for the crop food cycle chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, B Y; Xu, F J; Zong, B D; Zhang, Z G

    2012-09-01

    When fossil fuels on the Earth are used up, which kind of green energy can be used to replace them? Do every bioenergy generation or crop food chain results in environmental pollution? These questions are major concerns in a world facing restricted supplies of energy and food as well as environmental pollutions. To alleviate these issues, option biogases are explored in this paper. Two types of biogas generators were used for modifying the traditional crop food chain [viz. from atmospheric CO(2) photosynthesis to crops, crop stem/husk biowastes (burnt in cropland or as home fuels), to livestock droppings (dumping away), pork and people foods, then to CO(2)], via turning the biowaste pollutants into green bioenergies. By analyzing the traditional food chain via observation method, the drawbacks of by-product biowastes were revealed. Also, the whole cycle chain was further analyzed to assess its "greenness," using experimental data and other information, such as the material balance (e.g., the absorbed CO(2), investment versus generated food, energy, and wastes). The data show that by using the two types of biogas generators, clean renewable bioenergy, crop food, and livestock meat could be continuously produced without creating any waste to the world. The modification chain largely reduced CO(2) greenhouse gas and had a low-cost investment. The raw materials for the gas generators were only the wastes of crop stems and livestock droppings. Thus, the recommended CO(2) bioenergy cycle chain via the modification also greatly solved the environmental biowaste pollutions in the world. The described two type biogases effectively addressed the issues on energy, food, and environmental pollution. The green renewable bioenergy from the food cycle chain may be one of suitable alternatives to fossil and tree fuels for agricultural countries.

  18. Assessment of the phenology impact on SVAT modelling through a crop growth model over a Mediterranean crop site : Consequences on the water balance under climate change conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulin, S.; Garrigues, S.; Olioso, A.; Ruget, F.; Desfonds, V.; Bertrand, N.; Lecharpentier, P.; Ripoche, D.; Launay, M.; Brisson, N.

    2012-04-01

    project, Brisson et al, 2010), we show that the range of phenology simulated by ISBA is much wider than the one simulated by STICS. The large variability obtained with ISBA is not realistic and does not match with the genetic characteristics of the studied crops. In a second step, STICS and ISBA-a-gs are run over the same field of durum wheat cultivated during 5 years on a well instrumented site (Avignon crop observatory site). Their simulations are compared, in terms of LAI (driven by phenology), biomass (crop production), and evapotranspiration (water balance). The last step consists in forcing the SVAT model with the LAI simulated by STICS and assess the impact on the water and energy balance simulation accuracy.

  19. An analysis of domestic experimental results for soil-to-crops transfer factors of radionuclides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jun, In; Choi, Young Ho; Keum, Dong Kwon; Kang, Hee Seok; Lee, Han Soo; Lee, Chang Woo [KAERI, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2006-12-15

    For more realistic assessment of Korean food chain radiation doses due to the operation of nuclear facilities, it is required to use domestically produced data for radionuclide transfer parameters in crop plants. This paper analyzed results of last about 10 year's studies on radionuclide transfer parameters in major crop plants by the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute, comparing with the published international data, and consequently suggested the proper parameters to use. The trends of transfer parameter shows normal distributions if we have a lot of experimental data, but some radionuclides showed enormous variations with the environment of experimental, crops and soils. These transfer factors can be used to assess realistic radiation doses or to predict the doses in crops for normal operation or accidental release. Some kinds of parameter can be produced as conservatives or fragmentary results because soil-to-plant transfer factors were measured through greenhouse experiments which sometimes showed improper field situations. But these parameters mentioned in this paper can be representative of the status of Korean food chain than that of foreign country.

  20. An analysis of domestic experimental results for soil-to-crops transfer factors of radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jun, In; Choi, Young Ho; Keum, Dong Kwon; Kang, Hee Seok; Lee, Han Soo; Lee, Chang Woo

    2006-01-01

    For more realistic assessment of Korean food chain radiation doses due to the operation of nuclear facilities, it is required to use domestically produced data for radionuclide transfer parameters in crop plants. This paper analyzed results of last about 10 year's studies on radionuclide transfer parameters in major crop plants by the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute, comparing with the published international data, and consequently suggested the proper parameters to use. The trends of transfer parameter shows normal distributions if we have a lot of experimental data, but some radionuclides showed enormous variations with the environment of experimental, crops and soils. These transfer factors can be used to assess realistic radiation doses or to predict the doses in crops for normal operation or accidental release. Some kinds of parameter can be produced as conservatives or fragmentary results because soil-to-plant transfer factors were measured through greenhouse experiments which sometimes showed improper field situations. But these parameters mentioned in this paper can be representative of the status of Korean food chain than that of foreign country

  1. Radiation technology for the development of improved crop varieties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, Stanislaus F.

    2009-01-01

    One of the peaceful applications of atomic energy is in the field of agriculture. It finds application in crop improvement, crop nutrition, crop protection and food preservation. Genetic improvement of crop plants is a continuous endeavor. Success of a crop improvement programme depends on the availability of large genetic variability, which a plant breeder can combine to generate new varieties. In nature, occurrence of natural variability in the form of spontaneous mutations is extremely low (roughly 10 -6 ), which can be enhanced to several fold (approximately 10 -3 ) by using ionizing radiations or chemical mutagens. Radiation induced genetic variability in crop plants is a valuable resource from which plant breeder can select and combine different desired characteristics to produce better crop varieties. Crop improvement programmes at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) envisage radiation based induced mutagenesis along with recombination breeding in country's important cereals (rice and wheat), oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean and sunflower), grain legumes (blackgram, mungbean, pigeonpea and cowpea), banana and sugarcane. The desirable traits which have been bred through induced mutations include higher yield, grain quality, early maturity, disease and pest resistance, improved plant type and abiotic stress resistance

  2. Global Monitoring RSEM System for Crop Production by Incorporating Satellite-based Photosynthesis Rates and Anomaly Data of Sea Surface Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, D.; Sakuma, H.

    2014-12-01

    The first author has been developing RSEM crop-monitoring system using satellite-based assessment of photosynthesis, incorporating meteorological conditions. Crop production comprises of several stages and plural mechanisms based on leaf photosynthesis, surface energy balance, and the maturing of grains after fixation of CO2, along with water exchange through soil vegetation-atmosphere transfer. Grain production in prime countries appears to be randomly perturbed regionally and globally. Weather for crop plants reflects turbulent phenomena of convective and advection flows in atmosphere and surface boundary layer. It has been difficult for scientists to simulate and forecast weather correctly for sufficiently long terms to crop harvesting. However, severely poor harvests related to continental events must originate from a consistent mechanism of abnormal energetic flow in the atmosphere through both land and oceans. It should be remembered that oceans have more than 100 times of energy storage compared to atmosphere and ocean currents represent gigantic energy flows, strongly affecting climate. Anomalies of Sea Surface Temperature (SST), globally known as El Niño, Indian Ocean dipole, and Atlantic Niño etc., affect the seasonal climate on a continental scale. The authors aim to combine monitoring and seasonal forecasting, considering such mechanisms through land-ocean biosphere transfer. The present system produces assessments for all continents, specifically monitoring agricultural fields of main crops. Historical regions of poor and good harvests are compared with distributions of SST anomalies, which are provided by NASA GSFC. Those comparisons fairly suggest that the Worst harvest in 1993 and the Best in 1994 relate to the offshore distribution of low temperature anomalies and high gaps in ocean surface temperatures. However, high-temperature anomalies supported good harvests because of sufficient solar radiation for photosynthesis, and poor harvests because

  3. Energy-conserving perennial agriculture for marginal land in southern Appalachia. Final technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, G.

    1982-01-30

    USDA economists predict the end of surplus farm production in the US within this decade. More and more marginal land will be cropped to provide feed for the growing world population and to produce energy. Much of this potential cropland in Southern Appalachia is poorly suited to annual crops, such as corn. Perennial crops are much better suited to steep, rocky, and wet sites. Research was undertaken on the theoretical potentials of perennial species with high predicted yields of protein, carbohydrates, or oils. Several candidate staple perennial crops for marginal land in Southern Appalachia were identified, and estimates were made of their yields, energy input requirements, and general suitabilities. Cropping systems incorporating honeylocust, persimmon, mulberry, jujube, and beech were compared with corn cropping systems. It appears that these candidate staple perennials show distinct advantages for energy conservation and environmental preservation. Detailed economic analyses must await actual demonstration trials, but preliminary indications for ethanol conversion systems with honeylocust are encouraging. It is suggested that short-term loans to farmers undertaking this new type of agriculture would be appropriate to solve cash-flow problems.

  4. Nitrogen dynamics following grain legumes and subsequent catch crops and the effects on succeeding cereal crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Mundus, Simon; Jensen, Erik Steen

    2009-01-01

    balances. A 2½-year lysimeter experiment was carried out on a temperate sandy loam soil. Crops were not fertilized in the experimental period and the natural 15N abundance technique was used to determine grain legume N2 fixation. Faba bean total aboveground DM production was significantly higher (1,300 g m...... on the subsequent spring wheat or winter triticale DM production. Nitrate leaching following grain legumes was significantly reduced with catch crops compared to without catch crops during autumn and winter before sowing subsequent spring wheat. Soil N balances were calculated from monitored N leaching from...

  5. The role of short-rotation woody crops in sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shepard, J.P.; Tolbert, V.R.

    1996-01-01

    One answer to increase wood production is by increasing management intensity on existing timberland, especially in plantation forests. Another is to convert land currently in agriculture to timberland. Short-rotation woody crops can be used in both cases. But, what are the environmental consequences? Short-rotation woody crops can provide a net improvement in environmental quality at both local and global scales. Conversion of agricultural land to short-rotation woody crops can provide the most environmental quality enhancement by reducing erosion, improving soil quality, decreasing runoff, improving groundwater quality, and providing better wildlife habitat. Forest products companies can use increased production from intensively managed short-rotation woody crop systems to offset decreased yield from the portion of their timberland that is managed less intensively, e.g. streamside management zones and other ecologically sensitive or unique areas. At the global scale, use of short-rotation woody crops for bioenergy is part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels. Incorporating short-rotation woody crops into the agricultural landscape also increases storage of carbon in the soil, thus reducing atmospheric concentrations. In addition, use of wood instead of alternatives such as steel, concrete, and plastics generally consumes less energy and produces less greenhouse gases. Cooperative research can be used to achieve energy, fiber, and environmental goals. This paper will highlight several examples of ongoing cooperative research projects that seek to enhance the environmental aspects of short-rotation woody crop systems. Government, industry, and academia are conducting research to study soil quality, use of mill residuals, nutrients in runoff and groundwater, and wildlife use of short-rotation woody crop systems in order to assure the role of short-rotation crops as a sustainable way of meeting society's needs

  6. Comparison of the adaptability to heavy metals among crop plants. I. Adaptability to manganese-studies on comparative plant nutrition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tanaka, A; Tadano, T; Fujita, H

    1975-01-01

    An attempt is made to compare the tolerance of a variety of crop plants to the uptake of manganese. Three different concentrations of manganese were used for growing test plants, which included the following: rice, sugar beets, azuki beans, radishes, broad beans, peas, rutabaga, turnips, Arctinum tappa, Brassica japonica, green pepper, maize, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, mustard, and millet.

  7. Cereal straw management: a trade-off between energy and agronomic fate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Monteleone

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Climate change mitigation is the most important driving force for bioenergy development. Consequently, the environmental design of bioenergy value chains should address the actual savings of both primary energy demand and greenhouse gases (GHG emissions. According to the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC, no direct impacts and no GHG emissions should be attributed to crop residues (like cereal straws when they are removed from agricultural land for the purpose of bioenergy utilisation. The carbon neutral assumption applied to crop residues is, however, a rough simplification. Crop residues, indeed, should not be viewed simply as a waste to be disposed, because they play a critical role in sustaining soil organic matter and therefore have an inherent C-capturing value. Moreover, considering straws as an energy feedstock, its status of co-product is clearly recognised and its availability could be obtained according to different cropping systems, corresponding to different primary energy costs and GHG emissions. This paper highlights some hidden features in the assessment of agricultural energy and carbon balance, still very difficult to be detected and accounted for. Although they are frequently disregarded, these features (such as long term dynamic trend of soil organic carbon and annual nitrous oxide emissions from the soil should be carefully considered in assembling the energy and emission balance. By using a crop simulation model, the long-term soil organic matter and annual N2O soil emissions were estimated. Consequently, a comprehensive energy and GHG balance was determined in accordance with the life cycle assessment methodology. Contrasting methods of straw management and wheat cultivation were compared: straw retention vs removal from the soil; conventional vs conservation tillage; wheat cropping system as a single-crop or in rotation. The resulting carbon footprint of straws has different magnitudes with respect to the several

  8. Establishment and function of cover crops interseeded into corn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cover crops can provide ecological services and improve the resiliency of annual cropping systems; however, cover crop use is low in corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotations in the upper Midwest due to challenges with establishment. Our objective was to compare three planting me...

  9. Singular Strategic Project for the Development, Demonstration and Evaluation of Energy Crop Biomass-based Energy Production in Spain (On Cultivos); Proyecto Singular y Estragetico para el desarrollo, demostracion y evaluacion de la produccion de energia en Espana a partir de la biomasa de cultivos energeticos (On Cultivos)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manzano, E.; Maleta, E. J.; Carrasco, J. E.

    2008-07-01

    The Singular Strategic Project (PSE) On Cultivos, Development, demonstration and evaluation of the viability of energy crop biomass-based energy production in Spain, has been under way since 2005. This article describes the project objectives and general data indicating the current project status and the most relevant preliminary results obtained since it began. The On Cultivos PSE is proving to be an effective tool to channel the R and D efforts required to achieve the integral commercial implementation of energy crops in Spain. (Author) 4 refs.

  10. Designing bioenergy crop buffers to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions and water quality impacts from agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, G.; Negri, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    There is a strong societal need to evaluate and understand the environmental aspects of bioenergy production, especially due to the significant increases in production mandated by many countries, including the United States. Bioenergy is a land-based renewable resource and increases in production are likely to result in large-scale conversion of land from current uses to bioenergy crop production; potentially causing increases in the prices of food, land and agricultural commodities as well as disruption of ecosystems. Current research on the environmental sustainability of bioenergy has largely focused on the potential of bioenergy crops to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and possible impacts on water quality and quantity. A key assumption in these studies is that bioenergy crops will be grown in a manner similar to current agricultural crops such as corn and hence would affect the environment similarly. This study presents a systems approach where the agricultural, energy and environmental sectors are considered as components of a single system, and bioenergy crops are used to design multi-functional agricultural landscapes that meet society’s requirements for food, energy and environmental protection. We evaluate the production of bioenergy crop buffers on marginal land and using degraded water and discuss the potential for growing cellulosic bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass in optimized systems such that (1) marginal land is brought into productive use; (2) impaired water is used to boost yields (3); clean freshwater is left for other uses that require higher water quality; and (4) feedstock diversification is achieved that helps ecological sustainability, biodiversity, and economic opportunities for farmers. The process-based biogeochemical model DNDC was used to simulate crop yield, nitrous oxide production and nitrate concentrations in groundwater when bioenergy crops were grown in buffer strips adjacent to

  11. Cover crops and crop residue management under no-till systems improve soils and environmental quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Wegner, Brianna; Vahyala, Ibrahim; Osborne, Shannon; Schumacher, Thomas; Lehman, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Crop residue harvest is a common practice in the Midwestern USA for the ethanol production. However, excessive removal of crop residues from the soil surface contributes to the degradation of important soil quality indicators such as soil organic carbon (SOC). Addition of a cover crop may help to mitigate these negative effects. The present study was set up to assess the impacts of corn (Zea mays L.) residue removal and cover crops on various soil quality indicators and surface greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. The study was being conducted on plots located at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (NCARL) in Brookings, South Dakota, USA. Three plots of a corn and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation under a no-till (NT) system are being monitored for soils and surface gas fluxes. Each plot has three residue removal (high residue removal, HRR; medium residue removal, MRR; and low residue removal, LRR) treatments and two cover crops (cover crops and no cover crops) treatments. Both corn and soybean are represented every year. Gas flux measurements were taken weekly using a closed static chamber method. Data show that residue removal significantly impacted soil quality indicators while more time was needed for an affect from cover crop treatments to be noticed. The LRR treatment resulted in higher SOC concentrations, increased aggregate stability, and increased microbial activity. The LRR treatment also increased soil organic matter (SOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) concentrations. Cover crops used in HRR (high corn residue removal) improved SOC (27 g kg-1) by 6% compared to that without cover crops (25.4 g kg-1). Cover crops significantly impacted POM concentration directly after the residue removal treatments were applied in 2012. CO2 fluxes were observed to increase as temperature increased, while N2O fluxes increased as soil moisture increased. CH4 fluxes were responsive to both increases in temperature and moisture. On average, soils under

  12. Computing the biomass potentials for maize and two alternative energy crops, triticale and cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.), with the crop model BioSTAR in the region of Hannover (Germany).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauböck, Roland; Karpenstein-Machan, Marianne; Kappas, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Lower Saxony (Germany) has the highest installed electric capacity from biogas in Germany. Most of this electricity is generated with maize. Reasons for this are the high yields and the economic incentive. In parts of Lower Saxony, an expansion of maize cultivation has led to ecological problems and a negative image of bioenergy as such. Winter triticale and cup plant have both shown their suitability as alternative energy crops for biogas production and could help to reduce maize cultivation. The model Biomass Simulation Tool for Agricultural Resources (BioSTAR) has been validated with observed yield data from the region of Hannover for the cultures maize and winter wheat. Predicted yields for the cultures show satisfactory error values of 9.36% (maize) and 11.5% (winter wheat). Correlations with observed data are significant ( P  alternative to maize in the region of Hanover and other places in Lower Saxony. The model BioSTAR simulated yields for maize and winter wheat in the region of Hannover at a good overall level of accuracy (combined error 10.4%). Due to input data aggregation, individual years show high errors though (up to 30%). Nevertheless, the BioSTAR crop model has proven to be a functioning tool for the prediction of agricultural biomass potentials under varying environmental and crop management frame conditions.

  13. Crop Management as an Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change in Early Modern Era: A Comparative Study of Eastern and Western Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Pei

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Effective adaptation determines agricultural vulnerability to climate change, especially in the pre-industrial era. Crop management as an agricultural adaptation to climate change in recent human history, however, has rarely been systematically evaluated. Using Europe as our study area, we statistically compared yield ratio of wheat, rye, barley, and oats (an important performance indicator of an agrarian economy between Eastern and Western Europe in AD 1500–1800. In particular, a statistical comparison was made of crop yield ratio in the two regions during the warm agricultural recovery period AD 1700–1800. The general trend of crop yield in Eastern and Western Europe basically followed the alternation of climatic epochs, in which the extreme cooling period in AD 1560–1660 drastically reduced the crop yield ratio. The yield ratio of rye in Eastern and Western Europe was very similar throughout the entire study period. However, the yield ratio of wheat, barley, and oats showed different patterns in the two regions and increased drastically in Western Europe in the warm agricultural recovery period, which might have contributed to rapid socio-economic development in Western Europe and eventually the East–West Divide in Europe in the following centuries.

  14. Leaf wetness distribution within a potato crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heusinkveld, B. G.

    2010-07-01

    The Netherlands has a mild maritime climate and therefore the major interest in leaf wetness is associated with foliar plant diseases. During moist micrometeorological conditions (i.e. dew, fog, rain), foliar fungal diseases may develop quickly and thereby destroy a crop quickly. Potato crop monocultures covering several hectares are especially vulnerable to such diseases. Therefore understanding and predicting leaf wetness in potato crops is crucial in crop disease control strategies. A field experiment was carried out in a large homogeneous potato crop in the Netherlands during the growing season of 2008. Two innovative sensor networks were installed as a 3 by 3 grid at 3 heights covering an area of about 2 hectares within two larger potato crops. One crop was located on a sandy soil and one crop on a sandy peat soil. In most cases leaf wetting starts in the top layer and then progresses downward. Leaf drying takes place in the same order after sunrise. A canopy dew simulation model was applied to simulate spatial leaf wetness distribution. The dew model is based on an energy balance model. The model can be run using information on the above-canopy wind speed, air temperature, humidity, net radiation and within canopy air temperature, humidity and soil moisture content and temperature conditions. Rainfall was accounted for by applying an interception model. The results of the dew model agreed well with the leaf wetness sensors if all local conditions were considered. The measurements show that the spatial correlation of leaf wetness decreases downward.

  15. The imprint of crop choice on global nutrient needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jobbágy, Esteban G; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2014-01-01

    Solutions to meet growing food requirements in a world of limited suitable land and degrading environment focus mainly on increasing crop yields, particularly in poorly performing regions, and reducing animal product consumption. Increasing yields could alleviate land requirements, but imposing higher soil nutrient withdrawals and in most cases larger fertilizer inputs. Lowering animal product consumption favors a more efficient use of land as well as soil and fertilizer nutrients; yet actual saving may largely depend on which crops and how much fertilizer are used to feed livestock versus people. We show, with a global analysis, how the choice of cultivated plant species used to feed people and livestock influences global food production as well as soil nutrient withdrawals and fertilizer additions. The 3 to 15-fold differences in soil nutrient withdrawals per unit of energy or protein produced that we report across major crops explain how composition shifts over the last 20 years have reduced N, maintained P and increased K harvest withdrawals from soils while contributing to increasing dietary energy, protein and, particularly, vegetable fat outputs. Being highly variable across crops, global fertilization rates do not relate to actual soil nutrient withdrawals, but to monetary values of harvested products. Future changes in crop composition could contribute to achieve more sustainable food systems, optimizing land and fertilizer use. (letter)

  16. Tropical crops as a basic source of food

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Araujo, J.E.G.

    1979-01-01

    A study is made of the potential that exists for food production in the Latin American tropics, and ways in which this could improve and diversify nutritional patterns in other ecological regions. Crops which could become more important include roots and tubers, varieties of beans, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Tropical crops such as sugar cane and cassava could also be used as renewable sources of energy, to replace conventional non-renewable fuels.

  17. Plutonium contents of field crops in the southeastern US

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adriano, D.C.; Corey, J.C.; Dahlman, R.C.

    1980-01-01

    Agricultural crops were grown at the US Department of Energy Savannah River Plant (SRP) and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on soils at field sites containing plutonium concentrations above background levels from nuclear weapon tests. Major US grain crops were grown adjacent to a reprocessing facility at SRP, which releases low chronic levels of plutonium through an emission stack. Major vegetable crops were grown at the ORNL White Oak Creek floodplain, which received plutonium effluent wastes in 1944 from the Manhattan Project weapon development. In general, the concentration ratios of vegetative parts of crops at SRP were approximately one order of magnitude higher than those at ORNL, which indicates the influence of aerial deposition of plutonium at the SRP site

  18. Energy balance of solid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scholz, V.; Berg, W.; Kaulfuss, P.

    1998-01-01

    The input and output of energy are two important factors used to determine the energetic and ecological usefulness of a fuel or its production technology. In this paper, a number of different methods for the production of five biofuels which can be produced in agriculture and forestry are analysed and energetic balances are presented. The results show that the energetic input is relatively low compared to the output, especially for by-products and residual substances such as cereal straw and forest pruning timber (thinning). Whenever fuel crops are cultivated, the energetic efficiency is critically determined by the quantity of nitrogen applied. Depending on the crop and technology, each gigajoule of energy input can provide 7-30 GJ or with by-products up to 50 GJ of thermally utilizable energy without any additional CO 2 pollution. (author)

  19. Quantifying the Effects of Biomass Market Conditions and Policy Incentives on Economically Feasible Sites to Establish Dedicated Energy Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandhya Nepal

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study used a spatially-explicit model to identify the amount and spatial distribution of economically feasible sites for establishing dedicated energy crops under various market and policy scenarios. A sensitivity analysis was performed for a biomass market with different discount rates and biomass prices as well as policy scenarios including propriety tax exemption, carbon offset payments, and the inclusion of farmland for biomass production. The model was applied to a four-county study area in Kentucky representing conditions commonly found in the Ohio River Valley. Results showed that both biomass price and discount rate have a can strongly influence the amount of economically efficient sites. Rising the biomass price by 5 $·t−1 and lowering discount rate by 1% from the baseline scenario (40 $·t−1 and 5% resulted in an over fourteen fold increment. Property tax exemption resulted in a fourfold increase, a carbon payment on only 1 $·t−1 caused a twelve fold increase and extending the landbase from marginal land to farmland only slightly increase the economically efficient sites. These results provide an objective evaluation of market and policy scenarios in terms of their potential to increase land availability for establishing dedicated energy crops and to promote the bioenergy industry.

  20. Nitrogen Fertilizer Source, Rates, and Timing for a Cover Crop and Subsequent Cotton Crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objectives were to compare N fertilizer sources, rates, and time of application for a rye winter cover crop to determine optimal biomass production for conservation tillage production, compare recommended and no additional N fertilizer rates across different biomass levels for cotton, and determ...

  1. Activation or stalling on dark days. Outline of the options to save energy and the consequences for crops; Activeren' of 'stilzetten' op donkere dagen. Verkenning van de mogelijkheden voor energiebesparing en de gevolgen voor het gewas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dieleman, J.A.; Kempkes, F.; Dueck, T.A. [Plant Research International, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2006-11-15

    In the framework of the Greenhouse Horticulture and Environment Covenant (GLAMI) the government and the greenhouse horticulture sector have made agreements about social preconditions, with 2010 as horizon: 65% decrease in energy use compared to 1980 and 4% sustainable energy. Moreover, the government demands that greenhouse horticulture reduces CO2 emissions. Set against this background, a study was conducted in 2006 examining the effects of activating crops on the carious processes in the crops and the consequences for energy use. In the first phase an inventory was made of the knowledge and the number of experts in the area of crops, greenhouse climate and energy use. In the final phase of the project the results were discussed with a number of cultivation advisors and a study group high wire cucumber growers.(mk) [Dutch] In het kader van het convenant Glastuinbouw en Milieu (GLAMI) hebben de overheid en de glastuinbouwsector afspraken gemaakt over de maatschappelijke randvoorwaarden, met als horizon 2010: 65% vermindering van het energiegebruik ten opzichte van 1980 en 4% duurzame energie. Ook wil de overheid dat de glastuinbouw de uitstoot van CO2 terugdringen. Tegen deze achtergrond is in 2006 onderzoek gedaan naar de effecten van het activeren van het gewas op de verschillende processen in het gewas en op de gevolgen voor het energiegebruik. De eerste fase van dit onderzoek bestond uit het inventariseren van de kennis van een aantal experts op het gebied van gewas, kasklimaat en energiegebruik. In de laatste fase van dit project zijn de resultaten besproken met een aantal teeltadviseurs en een studiegroep hoge draad komkommertelers.

  2. Resource use efficiency and environmental performance of nine major biofuel crops, processed by first-generation conversion techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    de Vries, Sander C.; van de Ven, Gerrie W.J.; van Ittersum, Martin K.; Giller, Ken E. [Plant Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2010-05-15

    We compared the production-ecological sustainability of biofuel production from several major crops that are also commonly used for production of food or feed, based on current production practices in major production areas. The set of nine sustainability indicators focused on resource use efficiency, soil quality, net energy production and greenhouse gas emissions, disregarding socio-economic or biodiversity aspects and land use change. Based on these nine production-ecological indicators and attributing equal importance to each indicator, biofuel produced from oil palm (South East Asia), sugarcane (Brazil) and sweet sorghum (China) appeared most sustainable: these crops make the most efficient use of land, water, nitrogen and energy resources, while pesticide applications are relatively low in relation to the net energy produced. Provided there is no land use change, greenhouse gas emissions of these three biofuels are substantially reduced compared with fossil fuels. Oil palm was most sustainable with respect to the maintenance of soil quality. Maize (USA) and wheat (Northwest Europe) as feedstock for ethanol perform poorly for nearly all indicators. Sugar beet (Northwest Europe), cassava (Thailand), rapeseed (Northwest Europe) and soybean (USA) take an intermediate position. (author)

  3. Comparing heavy metal contents in crops receiving mineral fertilisers and animal manure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Bent Tolstrup; Elsgaard, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Spring barley (grain, straw), grass-clover (two cuts), winter wheat (grain, straw) and silage maize grown in the Askov long-term experiment with different levels (0, ½, 1, 1½, 2) of mineral fertiliser (NPK) and animal manure (AM) had concentrations of As, Pb, Cd and Hg below the EC maximum permis...... of NPK and AM does not pose a threat in terms of feed quality. However, the long-term accumulation of heavy metals added with mineral fertilisers and animal manure is essentially irreversible and may threaten soil quality....... in the analysed metal contents between crops grown with NPK and AM. Crop contents of uranium and thallium were below the analytical detection limits regardless of nutrient source and addition rate. Thus in a farming context similar to that of the Askov experiment, the long-term application of standard rates...

  4. Bowen ratio/energy balance technique for estimating crop net CO2 assimilation, and comparison with a canopy chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Held, A. A.; Steduto, P.; Orgaz, F.; Matista, A.; Hsiao, T. C.

    1990-12-01

    This paper describes a Bowen ratio/energy balance (BREB) system which, in conjunction with an infra-red gas analyzer (IRGA), is referred to as BREB+ and is used to estimate evapotranspiration ( ET) and net CO2 flux ( NCF) over crop canopies. The system is composed of a net radiometer, soil heat flux plates, two psychrometers based on platinum resistance thermometers (PRT), bridge circuits to measure resistances, an IRGA, air pumps and switching valves, and a data logger. The psychrometers are triple shielded and aspirated, and with aspiration also between the two inner shields. High resistance (1 000 ohm) PRT's are used for dry and wet bulbs to minimize errors due to wiring and connector resistances. A high (55 K ohm) fixed resistance serves as one arm of the resistance bridge to ensure linearity in output signals. To minimize gaps in data, to allow measurements at short (e.g., 5 min) intervals, and to simplify operation, the psychrometers were fixed at their upper and lower position over the crop and not alternated. Instead, the PRT's, connected to the bridge circuit and the data logger, were carefully calibrated together. Field tests using a common air source showed appartent effects of the local environment around each psychrometer on the temperatures measured. ET rates estimated with the BREB system were compared to those measured with large lysimeters. Daily totals agreed within 5%. There was a tendency, however, for the lysimeter measurements to lag behind the BREB measurements. Daily patterns of NCF estimated with the BREB+ system are consistent with expectations from theories and data in the literature. Side-by-side comparisons with a stirred Mylar canopy chamber showed similar NCF patterns. On the other hand, discrepancies between the results of the two methods were quite marked in the morning or afternoon on certain dates. Part of the discrepancies may be attributed to inaccuracies in the psychrometric temperature measurements. Other possible causes

  5. Assessing the MODIS crop detection algorithm for soybean crop area mapping and expansion in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusso, Anibal; Arvor, Damien; Ducati, Jorge Ricardo; Veronez, Mauricio Roberto; da Silveira, Luiz Gonzaga

    2014-01-01

    Estimations of crop area were made based on the temporal profiles of the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) obtained from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) images. Evaluation of the ability of the MODIS crop detection algorithm (MCDA) to estimate soybean crop areas was performed for fields in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Using the MCDA approach, soybean crop area estimations can be provided for December (first forecast) using images from the sowing period and for February (second forecast) using images from the sowing period and the maximum crop development period. The area estimates were compared to official agricultural statistics from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) and from the National Company of Food Supply (CONAB) at different crop levels from 2000/2001 to 2010/2011. At the municipality level, the estimates were highly correlated, with R (2) = 0.97 and RMSD = 13,142 ha. The MCDA was validated using field campaign data from the 2006/2007 crop year. The overall map accuracy was 88.25%, and the Kappa Index of Agreement was 0.765. By using pre-defined parameters, MCDA is able to provide the evolution of annual soybean maps, forecast of soybean cropping areas, and the crop area expansion in the Mato Grosso state.

  6. Evaluation of fresh and preserved herbaceous field crops for biogas and ethanol production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pakarinen, A

    2012-07-01

    In the future, various forms of bioenergy will be increasingly required to replace fossil energy. Globally, transportation uses almost one third of fossil energy resources, and it is thus of great importance to find ethically, economically, and environmentally viable biofuels in near future. Fieldgrown biomass, including energy crops and crop residues, are alternatives to supplement other non-food biofuel raw materials. The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential of five crops, maize (Zea mays L.), fiber hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), faba bean (Vicia faba L.), white lupin (Lupinus albus L.), and Jerusalem artichoke (Heliantus tuborosus L.) cultivated in boreal conditions as raw materials for methane and ethanol. Climate, cultivation requirements, chemical composition, and recalcitrance are some of the parameters to be considered when choosing energy crops for cultivation and for efficient conversion into biofuels. Among the studied crops, protein-rich legumes (faba bean and white lupin) were attractive options for methane, while hemp and Jerusalem artichoke had high theoretical potential for ethanol. Maize was, however, equally suitable for production of both energy carriers. Preservation of crop materials is essential to preserve and supply biomass material throughout the year. Preservation can be also considered as a mild pretreatment prior to biofuel production. Ensiling was conducted on maize, hemp, and faba bean in this work and additionally hemp was preserved in alkali conditions. Ensiling was found to be most beneficial for hemp when converted to methane, increasing the methane yield by more than 50%, whereas preservation with urea increased the energy yield of hemp as ethanol by 39%. Maize, with a high content of water-soluble carbohydrates (20% of DM), required an acid additive in order to preserve the sugars. Interestingly, hydrothermal pretreatment for maize and hemp prior to methane production was less efficient than ensiling. Enzymatic hydrolysis

  7. Building crop models within different crop modelling frameworks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adam, M.Y.O.; Corbeels, M.; Leffelaar, P.A.; Keulen, van H.; Wery, J.; Ewert, F.

    2012-01-01

    Modular frameworks for crop modelling have evolved through simultaneous progress in crop science and software development but differences among these frameworks exist which are not well understood, resulting in potential misuse for crop modelling. In this paper we review differences and similarities

  8. Increasing the total productivity of a land by combining mobile photovoltaic panels and food crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valle, B.; Simonneau, T.; Sourd, F.; Pechier, P.; Hamard, P.; Frisson, T.; Ryckewaert, M.; Christophe, A.

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: •Combining solar panels and crops on the same land increases the total productivity. •Use of solar trackers permits to balance or promote food/energy production. •Controlling mode of trackers strongly affect the total production per unit area. •Dynamic agrivoltaic systems increases productivity without competing with food. -- Abstract: Agrivoltaic systems, consisting of the combination of photovoltaic panels (PVPs) with crops on the same land, recently emerged as an opportunity to resolve the competition for land use between food and energy production. Such systems have proved efficient when using stationary PVPs at half their usual density. Dynamic agrivoltaic systems improved the concept by using orientable PVPs derived from solar trackers. They offer the possibility to intercept the variable part of solar radiation, as well as new means to increase land productivity. The matter was analysed in this work by comparing fixed and dynamic systems with two different orientation policies. Performances of the resulting agrivoltaic systems were studied for two varieties of lettuce over three different seasons. Solar tracking systems placed all plants in a new microclimate where light and shade bands alternated several times a day at any plant position, while stationary systems split the land surface into more stable shaded and sunlit areas. In spite of these differences, transient shading conditions increased plant leaf area in all agrivoltaic systems compared to full-sun conditions, resulting in a higher conversion of the transmitted radiation by the crop. This benefit was lower during seasons with high radiation and under controlled tracking with more light transmitted to the crop. As expected, regular tracking largely increased electric production compared to stationary PVPs but also slightly increased the transmitted radiation, hence crop biomass. A large increase in transmitted radiation was achieved by restricting solar tracking around midday

  9. Weed Control with Cover Crops in Irrigated Potatoes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.H. Mehring

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Field experiments at Oakes, ND, USA in 2010 and Carrington, ND, USA in 2011 were conducted to evaluate the potential for cover crops grown in the Northern Great Plains, USA in order to reduce weed emergence and density in irrigated potatoes. Treatments included five cover crop treatments and three cover crop termination treatments. Termination of cover crops was done with glyphosate, disk-till, and roto-till. Cover crop biomass accumulation was greatest for rye/canola and triticale at Oakes, and hairy vetch and hairy vetch/rye at Carrington. Cover crop and termination affected weed control 14, 29, and 51 days after planting (DAP at Oakes. Weed control at Carrington was at least 90% for all cover crop and termination treatments at all three evaluation timings. Marketable yield at Oakes was greater when roto-till was used to terminate the cover crops compared with disk-till or herbicide, which is beneficial for organic systems where herbicides are not used. Marketable yield at Carrington was not affected by cover crop or termination treatments. Results suggest that cover crops can successfully be integrated into irrigated potato production for weed control with yields equal to no cover crop, and with attention to potential mechanical difficulties.

  10. Turning the aquatic weed Azolla into a sustainable crop

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, P.

    2017-01-01

    Growing worldwide demands for food, energy and chemicals threatens natural ecosystems and global climate. Plants are crucial for food production, but may also be used to produce sustainable energy and materials. Hereto novel crops are sought with high productivity per hectare, whilst requiring

  11. A comparative table of various energy sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

    This table provides wide informations on the technological facets of various sources of primary energy. One of the outstanding features of this table is that it exposes and compares various technological problems involved in the energy conversion processes. The primary energy sources treated here are the solar energy (heat and light are treated separately), the geothermal energy, coal (gasification and liquefaction are treated separately), oil, natural gas, oceano-energy (tidal energy, temperature difference, and wave energy are treated separately), organic wastes, oil shale, tar sand, hydraulic power, wind power, biomass, uranium, thorium, and deuterium and lithium. On the other hand, the comparisons are made in three major items, i.e. charactersitics as natural resources, conversion or refinement to secondary energy sources, and economical characteristics. The first item includes the estimated and recognized amount of deposits, easiness of mining, storage, and transportation, and cleanliness and safety. As for conversion characteristics, the easiness, controlability, efficiency, cleanliness, and safety of various conversion processes are compared. Finally, as for economical problems, cost comparisons are made for gathering or mining those resources, including required energy input, man power, required facilities, and site conditions. (Aoki, K.)

  12. Short rotation Wood Crops Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.

    1990-08-01

    This report synthesizes the technical progress of research projects in the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program for the year ending September 30, 1989. The primary goal of this research program, sponsored by the US Department of Energy's Biofuels and Municipal Waste Technology Division, is the development of a viable technology for producing renewable feedstocks for conversion to biofuels. One of the more significant accomplishments was the documentation that short-rotation woody crops total delivered costs could be $40/Mg or less under optimistic but attainable conditions. By taking advantage of federal subsidies such as those offered under the Conservation Reserve Program, wood energy feedstock costs could be lower. Genetic improvement studies are broadening species performance within geographic regions and under less-than-optimum site conditions. Advances in physiological research are identifying key characteristics of species productivity and response to nutrient applications. Recent developments utilizing biotechnology have achieved success in cell and tissue culture, somaclonal variation, and gene-insertion studies. Productivity gains have been realized with advanced cultural studies of spacing, coppice, and mixed-species trials. 8 figs., 20 tabs.

  13. Giant reed (Arundo donax L. for biogas production: land use saving and nitrogen utilisation efficiency compared with arable crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Dragoni

    2015-12-01

    harvests (up to 64 Nm3 CH4 kgN–1, while double harvests showed remarkably lower values, averaging 48 Nm3 CH4 kgN–1. Annual crops were less efficient, since NUtE ranged from 28 Nm3 CH4 kgN–1 (maize to 40 Nm3 CH4 kgN–1 (fibre sorghum. In conclusion, giant reed can be an alternative for biogas making, potentially providing land and nitrogen savings compared with conventional annual crops.

  14. Crop yield response to climate change varies with cropping intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Challinor, Andrew J; Parkes, Ben; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian

    2015-04-01

    Projections of the response of crop yield to climate change at different spatial scales are known to vary. However, understanding of the causes of systematic differences across scale is limited. Here, we hypothesize that heterogeneous cropping intensity is one source of scale dependency. Analysis of observed global data and regional crop modelling demonstrate that areas of high vs. low cropping intensity can have systematically different yields, in both observations and simulations. Analysis of global crop data suggests that heterogeneity in cropping intensity is a likely source of scale dependency for a number of crops across the globe. Further crop modelling and a meta-analysis of projected tropical maize yields are used to assess the implications for climate change assessments. The results show that scale dependency is a potential source of systematic bias. We conclude that spatially comprehensive assessments of climate impacts based on yield alone, without accounting for cropping intensity, are prone to systematic overestimation of climate impacts. The findings therefore suggest a need for greater attention to crop suitability and land use change when assessing the impacts of climate change. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Cover crops do not increase C sequestration in production crops: evidence from 12 years of continuous measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buysse, Pauline; Bodson, Bernard; Debacq, Alain; De Ligne, Anne; Heinesch, Bernard; Manise, Tanguy; Moureaux, Christine; Aubinet, Marc

    2017-04-01

    The numerous reports on carbon (C) loss from cropland soils have recently raised awareness on the climate change mitigation potential of these ecosystems, and on the necessity to improve C sequestration in these soils. Among the multiple solutions that are proposed, several field measurement and modelling studies reported that growing cover crops over fall and winter time could appear as an efficient solution. However, while the large majority of these studies are based on SOC stock inventories and very few information exists from the CO2 flux dynamics perspective. In the present work, we use the results from long-term (12 years) eddy-covariance measurements performed at the Lonzée Terrestrial Observatory (LTO, candidate ICOS site, Belgium) and focus on six intercrop periods managed with (3) and without (3) cover crops after winter wheat main crops, in order to compare their response to environmental factors and to investigate the impact of cover crops on Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE). Our results showed that cumulated NEE was not significantly affected by the presence of cover crops. Indeed, while larger CO2 assimilation occurred during cover crop growth, this carbon gain was later lost by larger respiration rates due to larger crop residue amounts brought to the soil. As modelled by a Q10-like relationship, significantly larger R10 values were indeed observed during the three intercrop periods cultivated with cover crops. These CO2 flux-based results therefore tend to moderate the generally acknowledged positive impact of cover crops on net C sequestration by croplands. Our results indicate that the effect of growing cover crops on C sequestration could be less important than announced, at least at certain sites.

  16. Fertilizer use efficiency under enhanced crop intensity of vegetables due to inter-cropping using 15N and 32P labelled fertilizers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kotur, S.C.; Anjaneyulu, K.; Ramesh, P.R.; Ramachandran, V.

    2007-01-01

    Nitrogen use efficiency of all the crop combinations: capsicum (onion) - watermelon (radish) - okra (French bean) was drastically reduced to 6.44-19.21% from 10.85-37.16% compared to the either of the solo (main) crops. In the case of P also similar trend was seen but the utilization of P by crop combination was intermediate (6.18-9.31%) between those of the respective solo crops (in the range of 4.89% for watermelon and 11.90% for capsicum). A higher reduction of fertilizer use efficiency of N fertilizer than of P fertilizer under crop combinations appeared to be related to the differential mobility of these nutrients in the soil. (author)

  17. Comparative analysis of traditional and alternative energy sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Csikósová

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The presented thesis with designation of Comparing analysis of traditional and alternative energy resources includes, on basisof theoretical information source, research in firm, internal data, trends in company development and market, descriptionof the problem and its application. Theoretical information source is dedicated to the traditional and alternative energy resources,reserves of it, trends in using and development, the balance of it in the world, EU and in Slovakia as well. Analysis of the thesisis reflecting profile of the company and the thermal pump market evaluation using General Electric method. While the companyis implementing, except other products, the thermal pumps on geothermal energy base and surround energy base (air, the missionof the comparing analysis is to compare traditional energy resources with thermal pump from the ecological, utility and economic sideof it. The results of the comparing analysis are resumed in to the SWOT analysis. The part of the thesis includes he questionnaire offerfor effectiveness improvement and customer satisfaction analysis, and expected possibilities of alternative energy resources assistance(benefits from the government and EU funds.

  18. COMPARATIVE EFFICACY OF SYNTHETIC AND BOTANICAL INSECTICIDES AGAINST SUCKING INSECT PEST AND THEIR NATURAL ENEMIES ON COTTON CROP

    OpenAIRE

    M. A. Baker; A. H. Makhdum; M. Nasir; A. Imran; A. Ahmad; F. Tufail

    2016-01-01

    The Synthetic and botanical insecticides are relatively safer for environment and beneficial insects. The study was conducted in Rahim Yar Khan during the cotton cropping season 2014 to evaluate the comparative efficacy of two Synthetic insecticides i.e. Nitenpyram (Jasper 10% SL) and Pyriproxyfen (Bruce 10.8% EC) and two botanical extracts of Calotropic procera and Azadirachta indica, against sucking insect pest complex of cotton and their natural enemies. Upon reaching economic thresholds, ...

  19. Comparative risk assessment of total energy systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soerensen, B.

    1982-01-01

    The paper discusses a methodology for total impact assessment of energy systems, ideally evaluating all the impacts that a given energy system has on the society in which it is imbedded or into which its introduction is being considered. Impacts from the entire energy conversion chain ('fuel cycle' if the system is fuel-based), including energy storage, transport and transmission, as well as the institutions formed in order to manage the system, should be compared on the basis of the energy service provided. A number of impacts are considered, broadly classified as impacts on satisfaction of biological needs, on health, on environment, on social relations and on the structure of society. Further considerations include impacts related to cost and resilience, and, last but not least, impacts on global relations. The paper discusses a number of published energy studies in the light of the comparative impact assessment methodology outlined above. (author)

  20. Assessment of energy return on energy investment (EROEI) of oil bearing crops for renewable fuel production

    OpenAIRE

    A. Restuccia; S. Failla; D. Longo; L. Caruso; I. Mallia; G. Schillaci

    2013-01-01

    As reported in literature the production of biodiesel should lead to a lower energy consumption than those obtainable with its use. So, to justify its consumption, a sustainable and “low input” production should be carried out. In order to assess the sustainability of Linum usitatissimum, Camelina sativa and Brassica carinata cultivation for biodiesel production in terms of energy used compared to that obtained, the index EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested) has been used. At this aim, an...

  1. The influence of iron coordination compounds on producing capacity of some crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rakhimova, M.M.; Yusupov, Z.N.; Nurmatov, T.M.; Dzhafarov, M.I.

    1993-01-01

    Present article is devoted to influence of iron coordination compounds on producing capacity of some crops. The influence of aqueous solutions of iron coordination compounds with anions of acetic and ethylen diamin disuccinic acids on germinative energy and germination of cotton crops and grapes was studied in laboratory conditions. The conducted researches shown that application of iron coordination compounds improves the growth, fruiting and the quality of studied crops.

  2. Biological N2 fixation by chickpea in inter cropping system on sand soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ismail, M. M.; Moursy, A. A. A.; Kotb, E. A.; Farid, I. M.

    2012-12-01

    A field experiment was carried out at the plant nutrition and fertilization unit, Soils and Water Research Department, Nuclear Research Center, Atomic Energy Authority, Inshas, Egypt on wheat and chickpea incorporating. The benefits of N 2 fixation by legumes to cereals growing in inter crops or to grasses growing in mixed swards are high clear. In cases the benefit to the N status of cereals has bee seen when they are inter cropped with legumes, where benefit is found, it is mainly due to sparing of soil N rather than direct transfer from the legume. Inter cropped wheat, has a high grains yield as compared to those recorded under sole crop. The application of inter cropping system an increase of wheat grain yield against the sole system, regardless the cultivation system, the over all means of fertilizer rates indicated (50% MF + 50% OM) treatment was superiority (100% OM) and (75% MF + 25% OM) or those recorded with either un fertilizer when wheat grain yield considered. Comparison heed between or gain sources reflected the superiority of compost under sole cultivation, while chickpea straw was the best under inter cropping. Inter cropped has a high grain N uptake compared to soil systems. While totally organic materials had accumulates more N in grains than those of untreated treated control. In the some time, the overall mean indicated the superiority of compost treatment combined with 50% mineral fertilizer under inter cropping system over those of either only organic materials treatment or those combined with 75% mineral fertilizer. Plants treated of chickpea straw and compost, achieved the best value of straw weight. A mong the organic manure treatments, chickpea straw and compost seem to be the best ones. Nitrogen derived from air (%Ndfa) shoots and seeds of chickpea plants: In case of cow manure and maize stalk, the best value of nitrogen derived from air was detected followed by compost, while the lowest value was recorded with wheat straw. In general

  3. Integrating soil conservation practices and glyphosate-resistant crops: impacts on soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Martin A; Zablotowicz, Robert M; Reddy, Krishna N

    2008-04-01

    Conservation practices often associated with glyphosate-resistant crops, e.g. limited tillage and crop cover, improve soil conditions, but only limited research has evaluated their effects on soil in combination with glyphosate-resistant crops. It is assumed that conservation practices have similar benefits to soil whether or not glyphosate-resistant crops are used. This paper reviews the impact on soil of conservation practices and glyphosate-resistant crops, and presents data from a Mississippi field trial comparing glyphosate-resistant and non-glyphosate-resistant maize (Zea mays L.) and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) under limited tillage management. Results from the reduced-tillage study indicate differences in soil biological and chemical properties owing to glyphosate-resistant crops. Under continuous glyphosate-resistant maize, soils maintained greater soil organic carbon and nitrogen as compared with continuous non-glyphosate-resistant maize, but no differences were measured in continuous cotton or in cotton rotated with maize. Soil microbial community structure based on total fatty acid methyl ester analysis indicated a significant effect of glyphosate-resistant crop following 5 years of continuous glyphosate-resistant crop as compared with the non-glyphosate-resistant crop system. Results from this study, as well as the literature review, indicate differences attributable to the interaction of conservation practices and glyphosate-resistant crop, but many are transient and benign for the soil ecosystem. Glyphosate use may result in minor effects on soil biological/chemical properties. However, enhanced organic carbon and plant residues in surface soils under conservation practices may buffer potential effects of glyphosate. Long-term field research established under various cropping systems and ecological regions is needed for critical assessment of glyphosate-resistant crop and conservation practice interactions. Copyright (c) 2008 by John Wiley & Sons

  4. Emergy analysis of cropping-grazing system in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, L.X.; Yang, Z.F.; Chen, G.Q.

    2007-01-01

    An ecological energetic evaluation is presented in this paper as a complement to economic account for the cropping-grazing system in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China in the year 2000. Based on Odum's well-known concept of emergy in terms of embodied solar energy as a unified measure for environmental resources, human or animal labors and industrial products, a systems diagram is developed for the crop and livestock productions with arms and sub-arms for free renewable natural resource input, purchased economic investment, yields of and interactive fluxes between the cropping and grazing sub-industries. In addition to conventional systems indices of the emergy yield ratio (EYR), emergy investment ratio (EIR), environmental load ratio (ELR) and environmental sustainability index (ESI) introduced for congregated systems ecological assessment with essential implication for sustainability, new indicators of soil emergy cost (SEC), self-support intensity (SSI) and self-support orientation (SSO) are defined to characterize the desertification and internal recycling associated with the special agricultural system. Extensive emergy accounting is made for the cropping-grazing system as a whole as well as for the cropping and grazing subsystems. The overall cropping-grazing system is shown with outstanding production competence compared with agricultural systems in some other provinces and the national average in China, though confronted with severe desertification associated with soil loss. The production of crops has higher emergy density and yield rate per unit area as well as higher rate of soil loss than grazing system. The soil emergy cost defined as the soil loss emergy divided by the yield emergy is estimated to be of the same value for both of the subsystems, but the grazing activity is with less extraction intensity, leaving rangeland to rest and rehabilitate. Suggestions with regard to the local sustainability and national ecological security in

  5. Diverse effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production in the agro-pastoral transitional zone of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Jianmin; Yu, Deyong; Wang, Qianfeng; Liu, Yupeng

    2018-06-01

    Both crop distribution and climate change are important drivers for crop production and can affect food security, which is an important requirement for sustainable development. However, their effects on crop production are confounded and warrant detailed investigation. As a key area for food production that is sensitive to climate change, the agro-pastoral transitional zone (APTZ) plays a significant role in regional food security. To investigate the respective effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production, the well-established GIS-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was adopted with different scenario designs in this study. From 1980 to 2010, the crop distribution for wheat, maize, and rice witnessed a dramatic change due to agricultural policy adjustments and ecological engineering-related construction in the APTZ. At the same time, notable climate change was observed. The simulation results indicated that the climate change had a positive impact on the crop production of wheat, maize, and rice, while the crop distribution change led to an increase in the production of maize and rice, but a decrease in the wheat production. Comparatively, crop distribution change had a larger impact on wheat (-1.71 × 106 t) and maize (8.53 × 106 t) production, whereas climate change exerted a greater effect on rice production (0.58 × 106 t), during the period from 1980 to 2010 in the APTZ. This study is helpful to understand the mechanism of the effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production, and aid policy makers in reducing the threat of future food insecurity.

  6. Diverse effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production in the agro-pastoral transitional zone of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Jianmin; Yu, Deyong; Wang, Qianfeng; Liu, Yupeng

    2017-07-01

    Both crop distribution and climate change are important drivers for crop production and can affect food security, which is an important requirement for sustainable development. However, their effects on crop production are confounded and warrant detailed investigation. As a key area for food production that is sensitive to climate change, the agro-pastoral transitional zone (APTZ) plays a significant role in regional food security. To investigate the respective effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production, the well-established GIS-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was adopted with different scenario designs in this study. From 1980 to 2010, the crop distribution for wheat, maize, and rice witnessed a dramatic change due to agricultural policy adjustments and ecological engineering-related construction in the APTZ. At the same time, notable climate change was observed. The simulation results indicated that the climate change had a positive impact on the crop production of wheat, maize, and rice, while the crop distribution change led to an increase in the production of maize and rice, but a decrease in the wheat production. Comparatively, crop distribution change had a larger impact on wheat (-1.71 × 106 t) and maize (8.53 × 106 t) production, whereas climate change exerted a greater effect on rice production (0.58 × 106 t), during the period from 1980 to 2010 in the APTZ. This study is helpful to understand the mechanism of the effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production, and aid policy makers in reducing the threat of future food insecurity.

  7. Cereal Crop Proteomics: Systemic Analysis of Crop Drought Stress Responses Towards Marker-Assisted Selection Breeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arindam Ghatak

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable crop production is the major challenge in the current global climate change scenario. Drought stress is one of the most critical abiotic factors which negatively impact crop productivity. In recent years, knowledge about molecular regulation has been generated to understand drought stress responses. For example, information obtained by transcriptome analysis has enhanced our knowledge and facilitated the identification of candidate genes which can be utilized for plant breeding. On the other hand, it becomes more and more evident that the translational and post-translational machinery plays a major role in stress adaptation, especially for immediate molecular processes during stress adaptation. Therefore, it is essential to measure protein levels and post-translational protein modifications to reveal information about stress inducible signal perception and transduction, translational activity and induced protein levels. This information cannot be revealed by genomic or transcriptomic analysis. Eventually, these processes will provide more direct insight into stress perception then genetic markers and might build a complementary basis for future marker-assisted selection of drought resistance. In this review, we survey the role of proteomic studies to illustrate their applications in crop stress adaptation analysis with respect to productivity. Cereal crops such as wheat, rice, maize, barley, sorghum and pearl millet are discussed in detail. We provide a comprehensive and comparative overview of all detected protein changes involved in drought stress in these crops and have summarized existing knowledge into a proposed scheme of drought response. Based on a recent proteome study of pearl millet under drought stress we compare our findings with wheat proteomes and another recent study which defined genetic marker in pearl millet.

  8. JULES-crop: a parametrisation of crops in the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, T.; Gornall, J.; Hooker, J.; Williams, K.; Wiltshire, A.; Betts, R.; Wheeler, T.

    2014-10-01

    Studies of climate change impacts on the terrestrial biosphere have been completed without recognition of the integrated nature of the biosphere. Improved assessment of the impacts of climate change on food and water security requires the development and use of models not only representing each component but also their interactions. To meet this requirement the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) land surface model has been modified to include a generic parametrisation of annual crops. The new model, JULES-crop, is described and evaluation at global and site levels for the four globally important crops; wheat, soy bean, maize and rice is presented. JULES-crop demonstrates skill in simulating the inter-annual variations of yield for maize and soy bean at the global level, and for wheat for major spring wheat producing countries. The impact of the new parametrisation, compared to the standard configuration, on the simulation of surface heat fluxes is largely an alteration of the partitioning between latent and sensible heat fluxes during the later part of the growing season. Further evaluation at the site level shows the model captures the seasonality of leaf area index and canopy height better than in standard JULES. However, this does not lead to an improvement in the simulation of sensible and latent heat fluxes. The performance of JULES-crop from both an earth system and crop yield model perspective is encouraging however, more effort is needed to develop the parameterisation of the model for specific applications. Key future model developments identified include the specification of the yield gap to enable better representation of the spatial variability in yield.

  9. Soil organic carbon changes in the cultivation of energy crops: Implications for GHG balances and soil quality for use in LCA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandao, Miguel; Mila i Canals, Llorenc; Clift, Roland

    2011-01-01

    The environmental impact of different land-use systems for energy, up to the farm or forest 'gate', has been quantified with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Four representative crops are considered: OilSeed Rape (OSR), Miscanthus, Short-Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow and forest residues. The focus of the LCA is on changes in Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) but energy use, emissions of GreenHouse Gases (GHGs), acidification and eutrophication are also considered. In addition to providing an indicator of soil quality, changes in SOC are shown to have a dominant effect on total GHG emissions. Miscanthus is the best land-use option for GHG emissions and soil quality as it sequesters C at a higher rate than the other crops, but this has to be weighed against other environmental impacts where Miscanthus performs worse, such as acidification and eutrophication. OSR shows the worst performance across all categories. Because forest residues are treated as a by-product, their environmental impacts are small in all categories. The analysis highlights the need for detailed site-specific modelling of SOC changes, and for consequential LCAs of the whole fuel cycle including transport and use.

  10. Comparative risks from different energy systems: Evolution of the methods of studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, L D [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (USA)

    1980-10-01

    This conference has emphasized the difficulty in estimating energy-entailed health risks engendered by the differences between objective measures of risk - the estimated real or actual risk of a process - and the subjective perception of these risks. The subjective perception of risk colours the thinking of most decision-makers (including governments and their regulatory bodies), likewise the public. This confusion (apart from any fundamental psychological processes that may be involved) stems from the following: 1. Assessment of the health effects from different energy systems has had only brief and sparsely supported investigations to date, e.g., only seven years ago did government agencies in the USA evince interest in assessing their health effects. Less than seven years ago was there funding for work at Brookhaven. 2. Assessment differs from research. Assessing the health and environmental costs of energy production and use requires scrutiny of various diverse areas of research. Research is needed to define the pollutants emitted by various stages in various fuel cycles, including end-use, and to trace, then quantitate their chemical transformations, transport, including chemical and biological conversion through air, water, food, finally reaching man and important animals and crops. 3. In assessment, because of the state of knowledge (or lack of it), one frequently must make do with, say, only 60 per cent certainty rather than with the 95 per cent significance level that one strives to achieve from research. This statistical gap itself attracts special interest groups, e.g., governments and utilities, who, from the earliest beginnings of comparative assessments, have for one or another reason exploited confusion between reality and perception of risk.

  11. Comparative risks from different energy systems: Evolution of the methods of studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, L.D.

    1980-01-01

    This conference has emphasized the difficulty in estimating energy-entailed health risks engendered by the differences between objective measures of risk - the estimated real or actual risk of a process - and the subjective perception of these risks. The subjective perception of risk colours the thinking of most decision-makers (including governments and their regulatory bodies), likewise the public. This confusion (apart from any fundamental psychological processes that may be involved) stems from the following: 1. Assessment of the health effects from different energy systems has had only brief and sparsely supported investigations to date, e.g., only seven years ago did government agencies in the USA evince interest in assessing their health effects. Less than seven years ago was there funding for work at Brookhaven. 2. Assessment differs from research. Assessing the health and environmental costs of energy production and use requires scrutiny of various diverse areas of research. Research is needed to define the pollutants emitted by various stages in various fuel cycles, including end-use, and to trace, then quantitate their chemical transformations, transport, including chemical and biological conversion through air, water, food, finally reaching man and important animals and crops. 3. In assessment, because of the state of knowledge (or lack of it), one frequently must make do with, say, only 60 per cent certainty rather than with the 95 per cent significance level that one strives to achieve from research. This statistical gap itself attracts special interest groups, e.g., governments and utilities, who, from the earliest beginnings of comparative assessments, have for one or another reason exploited confusion between reality and perception of risk

  12. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J; Hammer, Graeme L

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation.

  13. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J.; Hammer, Graeme L.

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation. PMID:27790232

  14. Emission of N2O from production of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lind, A.M.; Joergensen, U.; Maag, M.

    1995-01-01

    The contribution of N 2 O (nitrous oxide) to the greenhouse effect has been increasing during the latest years. The increase in the contribution from N 2 O is partly caused by increasing emission from soil, mainly due to human activity, and partly as a result of an increasing radiatively greenhouse effect as relative to CO 2 according to general recalculations and reevaluation. The contribution from agriculture is directly from cultivated soil as well as indirectly (production of fertilizer and food). Formation of N 2 O in soil is mainly dependent on variations in content of soil water, oxygen state, and on availability of organic matter. Soil type and cropping are also important. The factors are interrelated, and their influence on the two N 2 O-forming processes, nitrification and denitrification, are very fluctuating resulting in large variations (spatial and temporal) for measurements of the emission in field. In the present paper, the state of knowledge is given for the emission of nitrous oxide from cultivated soil as well as from different types of natural ecosystems. Significant differences between N 2 O-emission from different annual crops cannot be expected. Based on Danish measurements of N 2 O-emission (spring barley, winter wheat and spring rape) the net displacement of CO 2 is calculated. The deduction of N 2 O varied from being double as high as the deduction for the production dependent CO 2 -emission to a lot less than that. There was a marked influence of the yields of the specific crops in the actual measuring years on the relative effect of the N 2 O deduction on the net-displacement of CO 2 . (EG)

  15. Transpiration of greenhouse crops : an aid to climate management

    OpenAIRE

    Stanghellini, C.

    1987-01-01

    In this book some physical aspects of greenhouse climate are analyzed to show the direct interrelation between microclimate and crop transpiration. The energy balance of a greenhouse crop is shown to provide a sound physical framework to quantify the impact of microclimate on transpiration and to identify the constraints set on climate management by the termodynamic behaviour of the canopy. Before the relationship among microclimate, canopy temperature and transpiration is rendered i...

  16. Can agriculture generate clean energy?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Zeijts, H.; Oosterveld, E.B.; Timmerman, E.A.

    1994-01-01

    Fossil fuels meet a large part of the energy requirements in Europe. The carbon dioxide produced by using these fuels contributes to the greenhouse effect. By generating energy from vegetable fibres (biomass) the emission of greenhouse gasses can be reduced. As well as an ecological advantage, the cultivation of crops for the supply of energy could also improve the moderate to bad economical results of Dutch arable farms. So far research into the use of biomass as a source of energy has been mainly concerned with its technical and economic feasibility. Our research also assesses the ecological sustainability of the cultivation and use of energy crops. The principal questions we have answered are: how harmful to the environment is the cultivation of energy crops?; what are the direct and indirect environmental effects of fitting energy crops into the cropping plan?; what indirect effects are to be expected at a regional and national level?; on balance, how much energy is produced in the entire cultivation, transport and processing chain?; What effect does this have on the emission of greenhouse gases?; what is the overall conclusion for the various crops with regard to sustainability? The conclusions of this research could help policy makers answer the question whether it is useful from the point of view of sustainability to stimulate the generation of energy from biomass. We have assessed the effects of the cultivation and use of energy crops on: the emission of minerals and pesticides; the use of energy and the emission of greenhouse gases; the fixation of carbon from CO2; the use of by-products and waste products; dehydration; erosion; the contribution to natural values; the contribution to scenic values; and use of space. In the overall assessment each criterion was given equal weight. This choice is arbitrary: in practice, the ratios are different in each situation. We have studied nine crops and their processing chains. Rape is converted into bio-diesel oil by

  17. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  18. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  19. Comparing the performance of 11 crop simulation models in predicting yield response to nitrogen fertilization

    OpenAIRE

    Salo , Tapio J.; Palosuo , Taru; Kersebaum , Kurt Christian; Nendel , Claas; Angulo , Carlos; Ewert , Frank; Bindi , Marco; Calanca , Pierluigi; Klein , Tommy; Moriondo , Marco; Ferrise , Roberto; Olesen , Jørgen Eivind; Patil , Rasmi H.; Ruget , Francoise; Takac , Jozef

    2016-01-01

    Eleven widely used crop simulation models (APSIM, CERES, CROPSYST, COUP, DAISY, EPIC, FASSET, HERMES, MONICA, STICS and WOFOST) were tested using spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) data set under varying nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates from three experimental years in the boreal climate of Jokioinen, Finland. This is the largest standardized crop model inter-comparison under different levels of N supply to date. The models were calibrated using data from 2002 and 2008, of which 2008 included si...

  20. Assessment of Total Phenolic and Flavonoid Content, Antioxidant Properties, and Yield of Aeroponically and Conventionally Grown Leafy Vegetables and Fruit Crops: A Comparative Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suman Chandra

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A comparison of the product yield, total phenolics, total flavonoids, and antioxidant properties was done in different leafy vegetables/herbs (basil, chard, parsley, and red kale and fruit crops (bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and squash grown in aeroponic growing systems (AG and in the field (FG. An average increase of about 19%, 8%, 65%, 21%, 53%, 35%, 7%, and 50% in the yield was recorded for basil, chard, red kale, parsley, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and squash, respectively, when grown in aeroponic systems, compared to that grown in the soil. Antioxidant properties of AG and FG crops were evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DDPH and cellular antioxidant (CAA assays. In general, the study shows that the plants grown in the aeroponic system had a higher yield and comparable phenolics, flavonoids, and antioxidant properties as compared to those grown in the soil.

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions of an agro-biogas energy system: Estimation under the Renewable Energy Directive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rana, Roberto; Ingrao, Carlo; Lombardi, Mariarosaria; Tricase, Caterina

    2016-04-15

    Agro-biogas from energy crops and by-products is a renewable energy carrier that can potentially contribute to climate change mitigation. In this context, application of the methodology defined by the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (RED) was performed in order to estimate the 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP100) associated with an agro-biogas supply chain (SC) in Southern Italy. Doing so enabled calculation of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission saving in order to verify if it is at least equal to 35% compared to the fossil fuel reference system, as specified by the RED. For the assessment, an attributional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach (International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 2006a,b) was integrated with the RED methodology applied following the guidelines reported in COM(2010)11 and updated by SWD(2014)259 and Report EUR 27215 EN (2015). Moreover, primary data were collected with secondary data extrapolated from the Ecoinvent database system. Results showed that the GWP100 associated with electricity production through the biogas plant investigated was equal to 111.58gCO2eqMJe(-1) and so a 40.01% GHG-emission saving was recorded compared to the RED reference. The highest contribution comes from biomass production and, in particular, from crop cultivation due to production of ammonium nitrate in the overall amount used for crop cultivation. Based upon the findings of the study, the GHG saving calculated slightly exceeds the related minimum proposed by the RED: therefore, improvements are needed anyway. In particular, the authors documented that through replacement of ammonium nitrate with urea the GHG-emission saving would increase to almost 68%, thus largely satisfying the RED limit. In addition, the study highlighted that conservation practices, such as NT, can significantly enable reduction of the GHG-emissions coming from agricultural activities. Therefore, those practices should be increasingly adopted for cultivation of energy

  2. Soil physical and hydrological properties under three biofuel crops in Ohio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonin, Catherine; Lal, Rattan [The Ohio State Univ., School of Environment and Natural Resources, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, Columbus, OH (United States); Schmitz, Matthias [Rheinische Friedrich/Wilhelms-Universitaet Bonn, Steinmann Institut fuer Geologie, Mineralogie und Palaeontologie, Bonn (Germany); Wullschleger, S. [The Oakridge National Lab., Oakridge, TN (United States)

    2012-10-15

    While biofuel crops are widely studied and compared for their energy and carbon footprints, less is known about their effects on other soil properties, particularly hydrologic characteristics. Soils under three biofuel crops, corn (Zea mays), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and willow (Salix spp.), were analyzed seven years after establishment to assess the effects on soil bulk density ({rho}{sub b}), penetration resistance (PR), water-holding capacity, and infiltration characteristics. The PR was the highest under corn, along with the lowest associated water content, while PR was 50-60 % lower under switchgrass. In accordance with PR data, surface (0-10 cm) bulk density also tended to be lower under switchgrass. Both water infiltration rates and cumulative infiltration amounts varied widely among and within the three crops. Because the Philip model did not fit the data, results were analyzed using the Kostiakov model instead. Switchgrass plots had an average cumulative infiltration of 69 cm over 3 hours with a constant infiltration rate of 0.28 cm min{sup -1}, compared with 37 cm and 0.11 cm min{sup -1} for corn, and 26 cm and 0.06 cm min{sup -1} for willow, respectively. Results suggest that significant changes in soil physical and hydrologic properties may require more time to develop. Soils under switchgrass may have lower surface bulk density, higher field water capacity, and a more rapid water infiltration rate than those under corn or willow.

  3. Soil physical and hydrological properties under three biofuel crops in Ohio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonin, Catherine [Ohio State University; Lal, Dr. Rattan [Ohio State University; Schmitz, Matthias [Rheinsche Friedrich/Wilhelms Universitaet Boon; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    While biofuel crops are widely studied and compared for their energy and carbon footprints, less is known about their effects on other soil properties, particularly hydrologic characteristics. Soils under three biofuel crops, corn (Zea mays), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and willow (Salix spp.), were analyzed seven years after establishment to assess the effects on soil bulk density ({rho}{sub b}), penetration resistance (PR), water-holding capacity, and infiltration characteristics. The PR was the highest under corn, along with the lowest associated water content, while PR was 50-60% lower under switchgrass. In accordance with PR data, surface (0-10 cm) bulk density also tended to be lower under switchgrass. Both water infiltration rates and cumulative infiltration amounts varied widely among and within the three crops. Because the Philip model did not fit the data, results were analyzed using the Kostiakov model instead. Switchgrass plots had an average cumulative infiltration of 69 cm over 3 hours with a constant infiltration rate of 0.28 cm min{sup -1}, compared with 37 cm and 0.11 cm min{sup -1} for corn, and 26 cm and 0.06 cm min{sup -1} for willow, respectively. Results suggest that significant changes in soil physical and hydrologic properties may require more time to develop. Soils under switchgrass may have lower surface bulk density, higher field water capacity, and a more rapid water infiltration rate than those under corn or willow.

  4. Water Use and Quality Footprints of Biofuel Crops in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukla, S.; Hendricks, G.; Helsel, Z.; Knowles, J.

    2013-12-01

    The use of biofuel crops for future energy needs will require considerable amounts of water inputs. Favorable growing conditions for large scale biofuel production exist in the sub-tropical environment of South Florida. However, large-scale land use change associated with biofuel crops is likely to affect the quantity and quality of water within the region. South Florida's surface and ground water resources are already stressed by current allocations. Limited data exists to allocate water for growing the energy crops as well as evaluate the accompanying hydrologic and water quality impacts of large-scale land use changes. A three-year study was conducted to evaluate the water supply and quality impacts of three energy crops: sugarcane, switchgrass, and sweet sorghum (with a winter crop). Six lysimeters were used to collect the data needed to quantify crop evapotranspiration (ETc), and nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) levels in groundwater and discharge (drainage and runoff). Each lysimeter (4.85 x 3.65 x 1.35 m) was equipped to measure water input, output, and storage. The irrigation, runoff, and drainage volumes were measured using flow meters. Groundwater samples were collected bi-weekly and drainage/runoff sampling was event based; samples were analyzed for nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) species. Data collected over the three years revealed that the average annual ETc was highest for sugarcane (1464 mm) followed by switchgrass and sweet sorghum. Sweet sorghum had the highest total N (TN) concentration (7.6 mg/L) in groundwater and TN load (36 kg/ha) in discharge. However, sweet sorghum had the lowest total P (TP) concentration (1.2 mg/L) in groundwater and TP load (9 kg/ha) in discharge. Water use footprint for ethanol (liter of water used per liter of ethanol produced) was lowest for sugarcane and highest for switchgrass. Switchgrass had the highest P-load footprint for ethanol. No differences were observed for the TN load footprint for ethanol. This is the

  5. Evaluation of Aqua crop Model to Predict Crop Water Productivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohd Noor Hidayat Adenan; Faiz Ahmad; Shyful Azizi Abdul Rahman; Abdul Rahim Harun; Khairuddin Abdul Rahim

    2015-01-01

    Water and nutrient are critical inputs for crop production, especially in meeting challenges from increasing fertilizer cost and irregular water availability associated with climate change. The Land and Water Division of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed Aqua Crop, an integrated application software to simulate the interactions between plant, water and soil. Field management and irrigation management are the factors that need to be considered since it affects the interactions. Four critical components are needed in the Aqua Crop model, viz. climate, crop, field management and soil conditions. In our case study, climate data from rice field in Utan Aji, Kangar, Perlis was applied to run a simulation by using AquaCrop model. The rice crop was also assessed against deficit irrigation schedules and we found that use of water at optimum level increased rice yield. Results derived from the use of the model corresponded conventional assessment. This model can be adopted to help farmers in Malaysia in planning crop and field management to increase the crop productivity, especially in areas where the water is limited. (author)

  6. The effect of crop residue layers on evapotranspiration, growth and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Observations of crop growth (stalk population, stalk height, canopy cover), cane yield and evapotranspiration for these treatments were compared to that of a bare soil treatment. The data were also used to derive values of crop evaporation coefficients for different development phases and these were compared to FAO56 ...

  7. Comparative Assessment of Energy Supply Options

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogner, H.-H.; Vladu, I. F.

    2000-01-01

    The complexity facing today's energy planners and decision-makers, particularly in electricity sector, has increased. They must take into account many elements in selecting technologies and strategies that will impact near term energy development and applications in their countries. While costs remain a key factor, tradeoffs between the demands of environmental protection and economic development will have to be made. This fact, together with the needs of many countries to define their energy and electricity programmes in a sustainable manner, has resulted in a growing interest in the application of improved data, tools and techniques for comparative assessment of different electricity generation options, particularly from an environmental and human health viewpoint. Although global emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, e.g. SO 2 , NO x and particulate, must be reduced, the reality today is that these emissions are increasing and are expected to continue increasing. In examining the air pollutants, as well as water effluents and solid waste generated by electricity production, it is necessary to assess the full energy chain from fuel extraction to waste disposal, including the production of construction and auxiliary materials. The paper describes this concept and illustrates its implementation for assessing and comparing electricity generation costs, emissions, wastes and other environmental burdens from different energy sources. (author)

  8. Cover Crop Species and Management Influence Predatory Arthropods and Predation in an Organically Managed, Reduced-Tillage Cropping System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivers, Ariel N; Mullen, Christina A; Barbercheck, Mary E

    2018-04-05

    Agricultural practices affect arthropod communities and, therefore, have the potential to influence the activities of arthropods. We evaluated the effect of cover crop species and termination timing on the activity of ground-dwelling predatory arthropods in a corn-soybean-wheat rotation in transition to organic production in Pennsylvania, United States. We compared two cover crop treatments: 1) hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) planted together with triticale (×Triticosecale Wittmack) after wheat harvest, and 2) cereal rye (Secale cereale Linnaeus) planted after corn harvest. We terminated the cover crops in the spring with a roller-crimper on three dates (early, middle, and late) based on cover crop phenology and standard practices for cash crop planting in our area. We characterized the ground-dwelling arthropod community using pitfall traps and assessed relative predation using sentinel assays with live greater waxworm larvae (Galleria mellonella Fabricius). The activity density of predatory arthropods was significantly higher in the hairy vetch and triticale treatments than in cereal rye treatments. Hairy vetch and triticale favored the predator groups Araneae, Opiliones, Staphylinidae, and Carabidae. Specific taxa were associated with cover crop condition (e.g., live or dead) and termination dates. Certain variables were positively or negatively associated with the relative predation on sentinel prey, depending on cover crop treatment and stage, including the presence of predatory arthropods and various habitat measurements. Our results suggest that management of a cover crop by roller-crimper at specific times in the growing season affects predator activity density and community composition. Terminating cover crops with a roller-crimper can conserve generalist predators.

  9. ORCHIDEE-CROP (v0), a new process-based agro-land surface model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wu, X.; Vuichard, N.; Ciais, P.; Moors, E.J.; Jans, W.; Elbers, J.

    2016-01-01

    The response of crops to changing climate and atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) could have large effects on food production, and impact carbon, water, and energy fluxes, causing feedbacks to the climate. To simulate the response of temperate crops to changing climate and

  10. Flower volatiles, crop varieties and bee responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Björn K Klatt

    Full Text Available Pollination contributes to an estimated one third of global food production, through both the improvement of the yield and the quality of crops. Volatile compounds emitted by crop flowers mediate plant-pollinator interactions, but differences between crop varieties are still little explored. We investigated whether the visitation of crop flowers is determined by variety-specific flower volatiles using strawberry varieties (Fragaria x ananassa Duchesne and how this affects the pollination services of the wild bee Osmia bicornis L. Flower volatile compounds of three strawberry varieties were measured via headspace collection. Gas chromatography showed that the three strawberry varieties produced the same volatile compounds but with quantitative differences of the total amount of volatiles and between distinct compounds. Electroantennographic recordings showed that inexperienced females of Osmia bicornis had higher antennal responses to all volatile compounds than to controls of air and paraffin oil, however responses differed between compounds. The variety Sonata was found to emit a total higher level of volatiles and also higher levels of most of the compounds that evoked antennal responses compared with the other varieties Honeoye and Darselect. Sonata also received more flower visits from Osmia bicornis females under field conditions, compared with Honeoye. Our results suggest that differences in the emission of flower volatile compounds among strawberry varieties mediate their attractiveness to females of Osmia bicornis. Since quality and quantity of marketable fruits depend on optimal pollination, a better understanding of the role of flower volatiles in crop production is required and should be considered more closely in crop-variety breeding.

  11. Farming with future: making crop protection sustainable

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijnands, F.G.

    2011-01-01

    The project Farming with future works with parties with a vested interest to promote sustainable crop protection in practice. Besides developing new knowledge, it spends a good deal of its energy in the embedding of sustainable practices within relevant organisations, businesses and agrarian

  12. Selection on crop-derived traits and QTL in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) crop-wild hybrids under water stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owart, Birkin R; Corbi, Jonathan; Burke, John M; Dechaine, Jennifer M

    2014-01-01

    Locally relevant conditions, such as water stress in irrigated agricultural regions, should be considered when assessing the risk of crop allele introgression into wild populations following hybridization. Although research in cultivars has suggested that domestication traits may reduce fecundity under water stress as compared to wild-like phenotypes, this has not been investigated in crop-wild hybrids. In this study, we examine phenotypic selection acting on, as well as the genetic architecture of vegetative, reproductive, and physiological characteristics in an experimental population of sunflower crop-wild hybrids grown under wild-like low water conditions. Crop-derived petiole length and head diameter were favored in low and control water environments. The direction of selection differed between environments for leaf size and leaf pressure potential. Interestingly, the additive effect of the crop-derived allele was in the direction favored by selection for approximately half the QTL detected in the low water environment. Selection favoring crop-derived traits and alleles in the low water environment suggests that a subset of these alleles would be likely to spread into wild populations under water stress. Furthermore, differences in selection between environments support the view that risk assessments should be conducted under multiple locally relevant conditions.

  13. Winter Crop Mapping for Improving Crop Production Estimates in Argentina Using Moderation Resolution Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humber, M. L.; Copati, E.; Sanchez, A.; Sahajpal, R.; Puricelli, E.; Becker-Reshef, I.

    2017-12-01

    Accurate crop production data is fundamental for reducing uncertainly and volatility in the domestic and international agricultural markets. The Agricultural Estimates Department of the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange has worked since 2000 on the estimation of different crop production data. With this information, the Grain Exchange helps different actors of the agricultural chain, such as producers, traders, seed companies, market analyst, policy makers, into their day to day decision making. Since 2015/16 season, the Grain Exchange has worked on the development of a new earth observations-based method to identify winter crop planted area at a regional scale with the aim of improving crop production estimates. The objective of this new methodology is to create a reliable winter crop mask at moderate spatial resolution using Landsat-8 imagery by exploiting bi-temporal differences in the phenological stages of winter crops as compared to other landcover types. In collaboration with the University of Maryland, the map has been validated by photointerpretation of a stratified statistically random sample of independent ground truth data in the four largest producing provinces of Argentina: Buenos Aires, Cordoba, La Pampa, and Santa Fe. In situ measurements were also used to further investigate conditions in the Buenos Aires province. Preliminary results indicate that while there are some avenues for improvement, overall the classification accuracy of the cropland and non-cropland classes are sufficient to improve downstream production estimates. Continuing research will focus on improving the methodology for winter crop mapping exercises on a yearly basis as well as improving the sampling methodology to optimize collection of validation data in the future.

  14. Estimation of Evapotranspiration from Fields with and without Cover Crops Using Remote Sensing and in situ Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Hay

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Estimation of actual evapotranspiration (ETa based on remotely sensed imagery is very valuable in agricultural regions where ETa rates can vary greatly from field to field. This research utilizes the image processing model METRIC (Mapping Evapotranspiration at high Resolution with Internalized Calibration to estimate late season, post-harvest ETa rates from fields with a cover crop planted after a cash crop (in this case, a rye/radish/pea mixture planted after spring wheat. Remotely sensed EToF (unit-less fraction of grass-based reference ET, ETo maps were generated using Erdas Imagine software for a 260 km2 area in northeastern South Dakota, USA. Meteorological information was obtained from a Bowen-Ratio Energy Balance System (BREBS located within the image. Nine image dates were used for the growing season, from May through October. Five of those nine were captured during the cover crop season. METRIC was found to successfully differentiate between fields with and without cover crops. In a blind comparison, METRIC compared favorably with the estimated ETa rates found using the BREBS (ETλE, with a difference in total estimated ETa for the cover crop season of 7%.

  15. Comparative diversity of arthropods on Bt maize and non-Bt maize in two different cropping systems in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truter, J; Van Hamburg, H; Van Den Berg, J

    2014-02-01

    The biodiversity of an agroecosystem is not only important for its intrinsic value but also because it influences ecological functions that are vital for crop production in sustainable agricultural systems and the surrounding environment. A concern about genetically modified (GM) crops is the potential negative impact that such crops could have on diversity and abundance of nontarget organisms, and subsequently on ecosystem functions. Therefore, it is essential to assess the potential environmental risk of the release of a GM crop and to study its effect on species assemblages within that ecosystem. Assessment of the impact of Bt maize on the environment is hampered by the lack of basic checklists of species present in maize agroecosystems. The aims of the study were to compile a checklist of arthropods that occur on maize in South Africa and to compare the diversity and abundance of arthropods and functional groups on Bt maize and non-Bt maize. Collections of arthropods were carried out during two growing seasons on Bt maize and non-Bt maize plants at two localities. Three maize fields were sampled per locality during each season. Twenty plants, each of Bt maize and non-Bt maize, were randomly selected from the fields at each site. The arthropods collected during this study were classified to morphospecies level and grouped into the following functional groups: detritivores, herbivores, predators, and parasitoids. Based on feeding strategy, herbivores and predators were further divided into sucking herbivores or predators (piercing-sucking mouthparts) and chewing herbivores or predators (chewing mouthparts). A total of 8,771 arthropod individuals, comprising 288 morphospecies and presenting 20 orders, were collected. Results from this short-term study indicated that abundance and diversity of arthropods in maize and the different functional guilds were not significantly affected by Bt maize, either in terms of diversity or abundance.

  16. Bio-energy - For heat, electrical power or for fuel?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hawkins, A. C.

    2007-01-01

    This article examines the various uses proposed at a conference in Zurich, Switzerland on the use of biogenic fuels produced from sustainable biogenic resources. First of all, the term 'sustainable' in this connection is discussed and the energy obtained from wood, plants and crops is examined with respect to their total environmental impact. Energy crops are compared with other forms of renewable energy. The use of agricultural and foodstuff wastes as a source of biogenic material is discussed. Technical possibilities for their use are looked at. Wood-pellets as a fuel and the production of electricity in wood-fuelled power stations are discussed The energy and political dimensions of the use of so-called designer fuels are discussed along with their net negative effects on tropical forests and social structures in developing countries

  17. Cloning crops in a CELSS via tissue culture: Prospects and problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carman, John G.; Hess, J. Richard

    1990-01-01

    Micropropagation is currently used to clone fruits, nuts, and vegetables and involves controlling the outgrowth in vitro of basal, axillary, or adventitious buds. Following clonal multiplication, shoots are divided and rooted. This process has greatly reduced space and energy requirements in greenhouses and field nurseries and has increased multiplication rates by greater than 20 fold for some vegetatively propagated crops and breeding lines. Cereal and legume crops can also be cloned by tissue culture through somatic embryogenesis. Somatic embryos can be used to produce 'synthetic seed', which can tolerate desiccation and germinate upon rehydration. Synthetic seed of hybrid wheat, rice, soybean and other crops could be produced in a controlled ecological life support system. Thus, yield advantages of hybreds over inbreds (10 to 20 percent) could be exploited without having to provide additional facilities and energy for parental-line and hybrid seed nurseries.

  18. Comparative acute toxicity of neonicotinoid and pyrethroid insecticides to non-target crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) associated with rice-crayfish crop rotations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbee, Gary C; Stout, Michael J

    2009-11-01

    Most insecticides used to control rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuscel) infestations are pyrethroids. However, pyrethroids are highly toxic to non-target crayfish associated with rice-crayfish crop rotations. One solution to the near-exclusive reliance on pyrethroids in a rice-crayfish pest management program is to incorporate neonicotinoid insecticides, which are insect specific and effective against weevils but not extremely toxic to crayfish. This study aimed to take the first step to assess neonicotinoids as alternatives to pyrethroids in rice-crayfish crop rotations by measuring the acute toxicities of three candidate neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, dinotefuran and thiamethoxam, to juvenile Procambarus clarkii (Girard) crayfish and comparing them with the acute toxicities of two currently used pyrethroid insecticides, lambda-cyhalothrin and etofenprox. Neonicotinoid insecticides are at least 2-3 orders of magnitude less acutely toxic (96 h LC(50)) than pyrethroids to juvenile Procambarid crayfish: lambda-cyhalothrin (0.16 microg AI L(-1)) = etofenprox (0.29 microg AI L(-1)) > clothianidin (59 microg AI L(-1)) > thiamethoxam (967 microg AI L(-1)) > dinotefuran (2032 microg AI L(-1)). Neonicotinoid insecticides appear to be much less hazardous alternatives to pyrethroids in rice-crayfish crop rotations. Further field-level neonicotinoid acute and chronic toxicity testing with crayfish is needed. (c) 2009 Society of Chemical Industry.

  19. Department of Energy programs and objectives: energy conservation in agricultural production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-12-01

    This document describes the current Department of Energy agriculture research program as it relates to the research recommendations submitted by a 1976 workshop on energy conservation in agricultural production. In-depth discussions on fertilizers, irrigation, crop drying, fuel substitution, crop and animal production systems, greenhouses, materials handling, and transport systems are included. (MCW)

  20. 75 FR 15603 - Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Florida Avocado Crop Insurance Provisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-30

    ... to: (1) Theft; or (2) Inability to market the avocados for any reason other than actual physical... Crop Insurance Regulations; Florida Avocado Crop Insurance Provisions AGENCY: Federal Crop Insurance... Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Florida Avocado Crop Insurance Provisions to convert the Florida...

  1. Life cycle assessment of a Brassica carinata bioenergy cropping system in southern Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gasol, Carles M.; Gabarrell, Xavier; Rieradevall, Joan; Anton, Assumpcio; Rigola, Miquel; Carrasco, Juan; Ciria, Pilar; Solano, M.L.

    2007-01-01

    The energetic and environmental performance of production and distribution of the Brassica carinata biomass crop in Soria (Spain) is analysed using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology in order to demonstrate the major potential that the crop has in southern Europe as a lignocellulosic fuel for use as a renewable energy source. The Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) including midpoint impact analysis that was performed shows that the use of fertilizers is the action with the highest impact in six of the 10 environmental categories considered, representing between 51% and 68% of the impact in these categories. The second most important impact is produced when the diesel is used in tractors and transport vehicles which represents between 48% and 77%. The contribution of the B. carinata cropping system to the global warming category is 12.7 g CO 2 eq. MJ -1 biomass produced. Assuming a preliminary estimation of the B. carinata capacity of translocated CO 2 (631 kg CO 2 ha -1 ) from below-ground biomass into the soil, the emissions are reduced by up to 5.2 g CO 2 eq. MJ -1 . The production and transport are as far as a thermoelectric plant of the B. carinata biomass used as a solid fuel consumes 0.12 MJ of primary energy per 1 MJ of biomass energy stored. In comparison with other fossil fuels such as natural gas, it reduces primary energy consumption by 33.2% and greenhouse gas emission from 33.1% to 71.2% depending on whether the capacity of translocated CO 2 is considered or not. The results of the analysis support the assertion that B. carinata crops are viable from an energy balance and environmental perspective for producing lignocellulosic solid fuel destined for the production of energy in southern Europe. Furthermore, the performance of the crop could be improved, thus increasing the energy and environmental benefits. (author)

  2. Impacts of Cover Crops on Water and Nutrient Dynamics in Agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williard, K.; Swanberg, S.; Schoonover, J.

    2013-05-01

    Intensive cropping systems of corn (Zea Mays L.) and soybeans (Glycine max) are commonly leaky systems with respect to nitrogen (N). Reactive N outputs from agroecosystems can contribute to eutrophication and hypoxic zones in downstream water bodies and greenhouse gas (N2O) emissions. Incorporating cover crops into temperate agroecosystem rotations has been promoted as a tool to increase nitrogen use efficiency and thus limit reactive N outputs to the environment. Our objective was determine how cereal rye (Secale cereal L.) and annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) cover crops impact nutrient and soil water dynamics in an intensive corn and soybean cropping rotation in central Illinois. Cover crops were planted in mid to late October and terminated in early April prior to corn or soybean planting. In the spring just prior to cover crop termination, soil moisture levels were lower in the cover crop plots compared to no cover plots. This can be a concern for the subsequent crop in relatively dry years, which the Midwestern United States experienced in 2012. No cover plots had greater nutrient leaching below the rooting zone compared to cover crop areas, as expected. The cover crops were likely scavenging nutrients during the fall and early spring and should provide nutrients to the subsequent crop via decomposition and mineralization of the cover crop residue. Over the long term, cover crop systems should produce greater inputs and cycling of carbon and N, increasing the productivity of crops due to the long-term accumulation of soil organic matter. This study demonstrates that there may be short term trade-offs in reduced soil moisture levels that should be considered alongside the long term nutrient scavenging and recycling benefits of cover crops.

  3. Do green manures as winter cover crops impact the weediness and crop yield in an organic crop rotation?

    OpenAIRE

    Madsen, Helena; Talgre, Liina; Eremeev, Viacheslav; Alaru, Maarika; Kauer, Karin; Luik, Anne

    2016-01-01

    The effects of different winter cover crops and their combination with composted cattle manure on weeds and crop yields were investigated within a five-field crop rotation (barley undersown with red clover, red clover, winter wheat, pea, potato) in three organic cropping systems. The control system (Org 0) followed the rotation. In organic systems Org I and Org II the winter cover crops were used as follows: ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. in 2011/2012) and a mixture of winter oilseed-rape (Brass...

  4. Full GHG balance of a drained fen peatland cropped to spring barley and reed canary grass using comparative assessment of CO2 fluxes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karki, Sandhya; Elsgaard, Lars; Kandel, Tanka P; Lærke, Poul Erik

    2015-03-01

    Empirical greenhouse gas (GHG) flux estimates from diverse peatlands are required in order to derive emission factors for managed peatlands. This study on a drained fen peatland quantified the annual GHG balance (Carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and C exported in crop yield) from spring barley (SB) and reed canary grass (RCG) using static opaque chambers for GHG flux measurements and biomass yield for indirectly estimating gross primary production (GPP). Estimates of ecosystem respiration (ER) and GPP were compared with more advanced but costly and labor-intensive dynamic chamber studies. Annual GHG balance for the two cropping systems was 4.0 ± 0.7 and 8.1 ± 0.2 Mg CO2-Ceq ha(-1) from SB and RCG, respectively (mean ± standard error, n = 3). Annual CH4 emissions were negligible (peatland cropped to SB and RCG and presented a valid alternative to estimating the full GHG balance by dynamic chambers.

  5. Root-knot nematode management in double-cropped plasticulture vegetables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desaeger, J A; Csinos, A S

    2006-03-01

    Combination treatments of chisel-injected fumigants (methyl bromide, 1,3-D, metam sodium, and chloropicrin) on a first crop, followed by drip-applied fumigants (metam sodium and 1,3-D +/- chloropicrin) on a second crop, with and without oxamyl drip applications were evaluated for control of Meloidogyne incognita in three different tests (2002 to 2004) in Tifton, GA. First crops were eggplant or tomato, and second crops were cantaloupe, squash, or jalapeno pepper. Double-cropped vegetables suffered much greater root-knot nematode (RKN) pressure than first crops, and almost-total yield loss occurred when second crops received no nematicide treatment. On a first crop of eggplant, all fumigants provided good nematode control and average yield increases of 10% to 15 %. On second crops, higher application rates and fumigant combinations (metam sodium and 1,3-D +/- chloropicrin) improved RKN control and increased yields on average by 20% to 35 % compared to the nonfumigated control. Oxamyl increased yields of the first crop in 2003 on average by 10% to 15% but had no effect in 2004 when RKN failed to establish itself. On double-cropped squash in 2003, oxamyl following fumigation provided significant additional reduction in nematode infection and increased squash yields on average by 30% to 75%.

  6. Improving the Yield and Nutritional Quality of Forage Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola M. Capstaff

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite being some of the most important crops globally, there has been limited research on forages when compared with cereals, fruits, and vegetables. This review summarizes the literature highlighting the significance of forage crops, the current improvements and some of future directions for improving yield and nutritional quality. We make the point that the knowledge obtained from model plant and grain crops can be applied to forage crops. The timely development of genomics and bioinformatics together with genome editing techniques offer great scope to improve forage crops. Given the social, environmental and economic importance of forage across the globe and especially in poorer countries, this opportunity has enormous potential to improve food security and political stability.

  7. Management of crop residues for sustainable crop production. Results of a co-ordinated research project 1996-2001

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-05-01

    Since ancient times, farmers have recognized the importance of organic matter inputs to enhance crop yields. Organic matter contributes to plant growth through beneficial effects on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil, including (i) provision of a carbon and energy source for soil microbes, (ii) improvement of soil aggregation, thus reducing the hazard of erosion, (iii) retaining of nutrients and water, (iv) provision of nutrients through decomposition, and (v) reduction of soil compaction. The amount of soil organic matter is controlled by the balance between additions of plant and animal materials and losses by decomposition. Both additions and losses are directly affected by management practices. This CRP supported national efforts in eleven Member States to identify options managing crop residues for sustainable agricultural production and environmental preservation in a wide range of soils and cropping systems. Various options for the recycling of crop residues that are sustainable and economically attractive to farmers were examined using isotopic techniques. The specific options of this CRP were: to increase the quantity of nutrients available to crops from organic sources and for more effective recycling of those nutrients; to enhance the efficiency of use of nutrients by crops, and minimize losses through improved synchrony between process-level understanding of carbon and nutrient flow through the use of isotopic techniques so that management recommendations can be extrapolated to a wide range of environments using models. A simple mathematical model, descriptive in nature, was developed to synthesize information collected from all experimental sites, allowing comparisons between treatments and sites. Most of the fertilizer N was lost during the first cropping season and only insignificant losses occurred in the following seasons. The losses of N from applied fertilizer ranged from 45 to 85% irrespective of crop

  8. Comparing long term energy scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cumo, M.; Simbolotti, G.

    2001-01-01

    Major projection studies by international organizations and senior analysts have been compared with reference to individual key parameters (population, energy demand/supply, resources, technology, emissions and global warming) to understand trends and implications of the different scenarios. Then, looking at the long term (i.e., 2050 and beyond), parameters and trends have been compared together to understand and quantify whether and when possible crisis or market turbulence might occur due to shortage of resources or environmental problems [it

  9. 76 FR 71276 - Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Pecan Revenue Crop Insurance Provisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ...-0008] RIN 0563-AC35 Common Crop Insurance Regulations; Pecan Revenue Crop Insurance Provisions AGENCY... Corporation (FCIC) proposes to amend the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Pecan Revenue Crop Insurance... Regulations (7 CFR part 457) by revising Sec. 457.167 Pecan Revenue Crop Insurance Provisions, to be effective...

  10. Multi-Seasonal Nitrogen Recoveries from Crop Residue in Soil and Crop in a Temperate Agro-Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guoqing; Liu, Xiao; He, Hongbo; Zhang, Wei; Xie, Hongtu; Wu, Yeye; Cui, Jiehua; Sun, Ci; Zhang, Xudong

    2015-01-01

    In conservation tillage systems, at least 30% of the soil surface was covered by crop residues which generally contain significant amounts of nitrogen (N). However, little is known about the multi-seasonal recoveries of the N derived from these crop residues in soil-crop systems, notably in northeastern China. In a temperate agro-ecosystem, 15N-labeled maize residue was applied to field surfaces in the 1st year (2009). From the 2nd to 4th year (2010-2012), one treatment halted the application of maize residue, whereas the soil in the second treatment was re-applied with unlabeled maize residue. Crop and soil samples were collected after each harvest, and their 15N enrichments were determined on an isotope ratio mass spectrometer to trace the allocation of N derived from the initially applied maize residue in the soil-crop systems. On average, 8.4% of the maize residue N was recovered in the soil-crop in the 1st year, and the vast majority (61.9%-91.9%) was recovered during subsequent years. Throughout the experiment, the cumulative recovery of the residue N in the crop increased gradually (18.2%-20.9%), but most of the residue N was retained in the soil, notably in the 0-10 cm soil layer. Compared to the single application, the sequential residue application significantly increased the recovery of the residue N in the soil profile (73.8% vs. 40.9%) and remarkably decreased the total and the initially applied residue derived mineral N along the soil profile. Our results suggested that the residue N was actively involved in N cycling, and its release and recovery in crop and soil profile were controlled by the decomposition process. Sequential residue application significantly enhanced the retention and stabilization of the initially applied residue N in the soil and retarded its translocation along the soil profile.

  11. Using a water-food-energy nexus approach for optimal irrigation management during drought events in Nebraska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campana, P. E.; Zhang, J.; Yao, T.; Melton, F. S.; Yan, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change and drought have severe impacts on the agricultural sector affecting crop yields, water availability, and energy consumption for irrigation. Monitoring, assessing and mitigating the effects of climate change and drought on the agricultural and energy sectors are fundamental challenges that require investigation for water, food, and energy security issues. Using an integrated water-food-energy nexus approach, this study is developing a comprehensive drought management system through integration of real-time drought monitoring with real-time irrigation management. The spatially explicit model developed, GIS-OptiCE, can be used for simulation, multi-criteria optimization and generation of forecasts to support irrigation management. To demonstrate the value of the approach, the model has been applied to one major corn region in Nebraska to study the effects of the 2012 drought on crop yield and irrigation water/energy requirements as compared to a wet year such as 2009. The water-food-energy interrelationships evaluated show that significant water volumes and energy are required to halt the negative effects of drought on the crop yield. The multi-criteria optimization problem applied in this study indicates that the optimal solutions of irrigation do not necessarily correspond to those that would produce the maximum crop yields, depending on both water and economic constraints. In particular, crop pricing forecasts are extremely important to define the optimal irrigation management strategy. The model developed shows great potential in precision agriculture by providing near real-time data products including information on evapotranspiration, irrigation volumes, energy requirements, predicted crop growth, and nutrient requirements.

  12. Embodied crop calories in animal products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pradhan, Prajal; Lüdeke, Matthias K B; Reusser, Dominik E; Kropp, Jürgen P

    2013-01-01

    Increases in animal products consumption and the associated environmental consequences have been a matter of scientific debate for decades. Consequences of such increases include rises in greenhouse gas emissions, growth of consumptive water use, and perturbation of global nutrients cycles. These consequences vary spatially depending on livestock types, their densities and their production system. In this letter, we investigate the spatial distribution of embodied crop calories in animal products. On a global scale, about 40% of the global crop calories are used as livestock feed (we refer to this ratio as crop balance for livestock) and about 4 kcal of crop products are used to generate 1 kcal of animal products (embodied crop calories of around 4). However, these values vary greatly around the world. In some regions, more than 100% of the crops produced is required to feed livestock requiring national or international trade to meet the deficit in livestock feed. Embodied crop calories vary between less than 1 for 20% of the livestock raising areas worldwide and greater than 10 for another 20% of the regions. Low values of embodied crop calories are related to production systems for ruminants based on fodder and forage, while large values are usually associated with production systems for non-ruminants fed on crop products. Additionally, we project the future feed demand considering three scenarios: (a) population growth, (b) population growth and changes in human dietary patterns and (c) changes in population, dietary patterns and feed conversion efficiency. When considering dietary changes, we project the global feed demand to be almost doubled (1.8–2.3 times) by 2050 compared