WorldWideScience

Sample records for perennial biomass crops

  1. Agroecology of Novel Annual and Perennial Crops for Biomass Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Jørgensen, Uffe; Lærke, Poul Erik

    The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production.......The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production....

  2. A generic model for estimating biomass accumulation and greenhouse gas emissions from perennial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledo, Alicia; Heathcote, Richard; Hastings, Astley; Smith, Pete; Hillier, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Agriculture is essential to maintain humankind but is, at the same time, a substantial emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With a rising global population, the need for agriculture to provide secure food and energy supply is one of the main human challenges. At the same time, it is the only sector which has significant potential for negative emissions through the sequestration of carbon and offsetting via supply of feedstock for energy production. Perennial crops accumulate carbon during their lifetime and enhance organic soil carbon increase via root senescence and decomposition. However, inconsistency in accounting for this stored biomass undermines efforts to assess the benefits of such cropping systems when applied at scale. A consequence of this exclusion is that efforts to manage this important carbon stock are neglected. Detailed information on carbon balance is crucial to identify the main processes responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in order to develop strategic mitigation programs. Perennial crops systems represent 30% in area of total global crop systems, a considerable amount to be ignored. Furthermore, they have a major standing both in the bioenergy and global food industries. In this study, we first present a generic model to calculate the carbon balance and GHGs emissions from perennial crops, covering both food and bioenergy crops. The model is composed of two simple process-based sub-models, to cover perennial grasses and other perennial woody plants. The first is a generic individual based sub-model (IBM) covering crops in which the yield is the fruit and the plant biomass is an unharvested residue. Trees, shrubs and climbers fall into this category. The second model is a generic area based sub-model (ABM) covering perennial grasses, in which the harvested part includes some of the plant parts in which the carbon storage is accounted. Most second generation perennial bioenergy crops fall into this category. Both generic sub

  3. Introducing perennial biomass crops into agricultural landscapes to address water quality challenges and provide other environmental services: Integrating perennial bioenergy crops into agricultural landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cacho, J. F. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Negri, M. C. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Zumpf, C. R. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Campbell, P. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA

    2017-11-29

    The world is faced with a difficult multiple challenge of meeting nutritional, energy, and other basic needs, under a limited land and water budget, of between 9 and 10 billion people in the next three decades, mitigating impacts of climate change, and making agricultural production resilient. More productivity is expected from agricultural lands, but intensification of production could further impact the integrity of our finite surface water and groundwater resources. Integrating perennial bioenergy crops in agricultural lands could provide biomass for biofuel and potential improvements on the sustainability of commodity crop production. This article provides an overview of ways in which research has shown that perennial bioenergy grasses and short rotation woody crops can be incorporated into agricultural production systems with reduced indirect land use change, while increasing water quality benefits. Current challenges and opportunities as well as future directions are also highlighted.

  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. Supporting Agricultural Ecosystem Services through the Integration of Perennial Polycultures into Crop Rotations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Weißhuhn

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This review analyzes the potential role and long-term effects of field perennial polycultures (mixtures in agricultural systems, with the aim of reducing the trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. First, crop rotations are identified as a suitable tool for the assessment of the long-term effects of perennial polycultures on ecosystem services, which are not visible at the single-crop level. Second, the ability of perennial polycultures to support ecosystem services when used in crop rotations is quantified through eight agricultural ecosystem services. Legume–grass mixtures and wildflower mixtures are used as examples of perennial polycultures, and compared with silage maize as a typical crop for biomass production. Perennial polycultures enhance soil fertility, soil protection, climate regulation, pollination, pest and weed control, and landscape aesthetics compared with maize. They also score lower for biomass production compared with maize, which confirms the trade-off between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. However, the additional positive factors provided by perennial polycultures, such as reduced costs for mineral fertilizer, pesticides, and soil tillage, and a significant preceding crop effect that increases the yields of subsequent crops, should be taken into account. However, a full assessment of agricultural ecosystem services requires a more holistic analysis that is beyond the capabilities of current frameworks.

  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. 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...

  8. Managing for Multifunctionality in Perennial Grain Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Matthew R; Crews, Timothy E; Culman, Steven W; DeHaan, Lee R; Hayes, Richard C; Jungers, Jacob M; Bakker, Matthew G

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Plant breeders are increasing yields and improving agronomic traits in several perennial grain crops, the first of which is now being incorporated into commercial food products. Integration strategies and management guidelines are needed to optimize production of these new crops, which differ substantially from both annual grain crops and perennial forages. To offset relatively low grain yields, perennial grain cropping systems should be multifunctional. Growing perennial grains for several years to regenerate soil health before rotating to annual crops and growing perennial grains on sloped land and ecologically sensitive areas to reduce soil erosion and nutrient losses are two strategies that can provide ecosystem services and support multifunctionality. Several perennial cereals can be used to produce both grain and forage, and these dual-purpose crops can be intercropped with legumes for additional benefits. Highly diverse perennial grain polycultures can further enhance ecosystem services, but increased management complexity might limit their adoption. PMID:29662249

  9. 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

  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. Drought mitigation in perennial crops by fertilization and adjustments of regional yield models for future climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Blanc-Betes, E.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Masters, M. D.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2017-12-01

    Increased variability and intensity of precipitation in the Midwest agricultural belt due to climate change is a major concern. The success of perennial bioenergy crops in replacing maize for bioethanol production is dependent on sustained yields that exceed maize, and the marketing of perennial crops often emphasizes the resilience of perennial agriculture to climate stressors. Land conversion from maize for bioethanol to Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) increases yields and annual evapotranspiration rates (ET). However, establishment of miscanthus also increases biome water use efficiency (the ratio between net ecosystem productivity after harvest and ET), due to greater belowground biomass in miscanthus than in maize or soybean. In 2012, a widespread drought reduced the yield of 5-year-old miscanthus plots in central Illinois by 36% compared to the previous two years. Eddy covariance data indicated continued soil water deficit during the hydrologically-normal growing season in 2013 and miscanthus yield failed to rebound as expected, lagging behind pre-drought yields by an average of 53% over the next three years. In early 2014, nitrogen fertilizer was applied to half of mature (7-year-old) miscanthus plots in an effort to improve yields. In plots with annual post-emergence application of 60 kg ha-1 of urea, peak biomass was 29% greater than unfertilized miscanthus in 2014, and 113% greater in 2015, achieving statistically similar yields to the pre-drought average. Regional-scale models of perennial crop productivity use 30-year climate averages that are inadequate for predicting long-term effects of short-term extremes on perennial crops. Modeled predictions of perennial crop productivity incorporating repeated extreme weather events, observed crop response, and the use of management practices to mitigate water deficit demonstrate divergent effects on predicted yields.

  13. Tradeoffs between water requirements and yield stability in annual vs. perennial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vico, Giulia; Brunsell, Nathaniel A.

    2018-02-01

    Population growth and changes in climate and diets will likely further increase the pressure on agriculture and water resources globally. Currently, staple crops are obtained from annuals plants. A shift towards perennial crops may enhance many ecosystem services, but at the cost of higher water requirements and lower yields. It is still unclear when the advantages of perennial crops overcome their disadvantages and perennial crops are thus a sustainable solution. Here we combine a probabilistic description of the soil water balance and crop development with an extensive dataset of traits of congeneric annuals and perennials to identify the conditions for which perennial crops are more viable than annual ones with reference to yield, yield stability, and effective use of water. We show that the larger and more developed roots of perennial crops allow a better exploitation of soil water resources and a reduction of yield variability with respect to annual species, but their yields remain lower when considering grain crops. Furthermore, perennial crops have higher and more variable irrigation requirements and lower water productivity. These results are important to understand the potential consequences for yield, its stability, and water resource use of a shift from annual to perennial crops and, more generally, if perennial crops may be more resilient than annual crops in the face of climatic fluctuations.

  14. 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.

  15. Nutrient uptake and biomass accumulation for eleven different field crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. HAKALA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Oil hemp (Cannabis sativa L., quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd., false flax (Camelina sativa (L. Crantz, caraway (Carum carvi L., dyer’s woad (Isatis tinctoria L., nettle (Urtica dioica L., reed canary grass (RCG (Phalaris arundinacea L., buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench, linseed (Linum usitatissimum L., timothy (Phleum pratense L. and barley (Hordeum vulgare L. were grown under uniform conditions in pots containing well fertilised loam soil. Dry matter (DM accumulation was measured repeatedly, and contents of minerals N, P, K, Ca and Mg at maturity. Annual crops accumulated above-ground biomass faster than perennials, while perennials had higher DM accumulation rates below ground. Seeds had high concentrations of N and P, while green biomass had high concentrations of K and Ca. Stems and roots had low concentrations of minerals. Concentrations of K and P were high in quinoa and caraway, and that of P in buckwheat. Hemp and nettle had high Ca concentrations, and quinoa had high Mg concentration. N and P were efficiently harvested with seed, Ca and K with the whole biomass. Perennials could prevent soil erosion and add carbon to the soil in the long term, while annuals compete better with weeds and prevent erosion during early growth. Nutrient balances in a field could be modified and nutrient leaching reduced by careful selection of the crop and management practices.;

  16. Perennial Grass Bioenergy Cropping on Wet Marginal Land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das, Srabani; Teuffer, Karin; Stoof, Cathelijne R.; Walter, Michael F.; Walter, M.T.; Steenhuis, Tammo S.; Richards, Brian K.

    2018-01-01

    The control of soil moisture, vegetation type, and prior land use on soil health parameters of perennial grass cropping systems on marginal lands is not well known. A fallow wetness-prone marginal site in New York (USA) was converted to perennial grass bioenergy feedstock production. Quadruplicate

  17. Bacterial endophytes of perennial crops for management of plant disease

    OpenAIRE

    Melnick, Rachel L.; Bailey, B.A.; Backman, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Metadata only record Bacterial endophytes, microorganisms which inhabit the internal tissues of plants, can suppress disease and are often used as a biological control in annual crops. Less research, however, has been applied to the use of bacterial endophytes to prevent disease in perennial crops, which presents a more complex challenge. However, exploration of their potential as a biological control in perennial crops has been limited. This chapter assembles current knowledge on the subj...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. Totally impermeable film (TIF reduces emissions in perennial crop fumigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suduan Gao

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Many perennial nursery fields and replanted orchards and vineyards in California are treated with preplant soil fumigants to control soilborne pests. In annual crops, such as strawberry, covering fumigated fields with totally impermeable film (TIF has shown promise in controlling emissions and improving fumigant distribution in soil. The objective of this research was to optimize the use of TIF for perennial crops via three field trials. TIF reduced peak emission flux and cumulative emissions by > 90% relative to polyethylene tarp during a 2-week covering period. After the TIF was cut, emissions were greatly reduced compared to when tarps were cut after 6 days. TIF maintained higher fumigant concentrations under tarp and in the soil than polyethylene film. The results indicate that TIF can increase fumigation efficiency for perennial crop growers.

  2. 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)

  3. A Systematic Review of Perennial Staple Crops Literature Using Topic Modeling and Bibliometric Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Research on perennial staple crops has increased in the past ten years due to their potential to improve ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, multiple past breeding efforts as well as research on traditional ratoon systems mean there is already a broad body of literature on perennial crops. In this review, we compare the development of research on perennial staple crops, including wheat, rice, rye, sorghum, and pigeon pea. We utilized the advanced search capabilities of Web of Science, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Agricola to gather a library of 914 articles published from 1930 to the present. We analyzed the metadata in the entire library and in collections of literature on each crop to understand trends in research and publishing. In addition, we applied topic modeling to the article abstracts, a type of text analysis that identifies frequently co-occurring terms and latent topics. We found: 1.) Research on perennials is increasing overall, but individual crops have each seen periods of heightened interest and research activity; 2.) Specialist journals play an important role in supporting early research efforts. Research often begins within communities of specialists or breeders for the individual crop before transitioning to a more general scientific audience; 3.) Existing perennial agricultural systems and their domesticated crop material, such as ratoon rice systems, can provide a useful foundation for breeding efforts, accelerating the development of truly perennial crops and farming systems; 4.) Primary research is lacking for crops that are produced on a smaller scale globally, such as pigeon pea and sorghum, and on the ecosystem service benefits of perennial agricultural systems. PMID:27213283

  4. Annual maize and perennial grass-clover strip cropping for increased resource use efficiency and productivity using organic farming practice as a model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Johansen, Anders; Carter, Mette Sustmann

    2013-01-01

    A cropping system was designed to fulfill the increasing demand for biomass for food and energy without decreasing long term soil fertility. A field experiment was carried out including alternating strips of annual maize (Zea mays L.) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) – clover (Trifolium...

  5. Direct control of perennial weeds between crops - Implication for organic farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melander, Bo; Holst, Niels; Rasmussen, Ilse Ankjær

    2012-01-01

    and ending the strategy with mouldboard ploughing in the succeeding spring. Grain yields did not differ among the treatments in the two experiments as a result of the generally high effectiveness exerted by the control strategies. Especially post-harvest control strategies based on rotating weed devices...... and mouldboard ploughing appear to be effective solutions against mixed stands of perennials on sandy soils but they do not comply with optimal nutrient management in organic cropping. Therefore, intensive autumn cultivation is only relevant where a perennial weed problem is uncontrollable by other means.......Perennial weeds can be a major constraint to organic crop production and direct control actions applied between crops can then be necessary to reduce the problems. We conducted two experiments, one on a sandy loam and one on a sandy soil in Denmark, with the aim of studying the efficacy...

  6. Energy from biomass: Results of two-years trials on annual and perennial Herba ceous species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angelini, L.; Ceccarini, L.; Oggiano, N.; Bonari, E.

    1994-01-01

    In the framework of the PRisCa Project (Alternative Crops Research Project) a number of germ plasm collections were set up at the Department of Agronomy of the University of Pisa in order to identify annual and perennial herbaceous species utilizable for electric energy production. The first results deriving from trials carried out in 1992-93 are reported. The following species were used: 1) Annual: Sorghum bicolor, Hibiscus cannabinus, Pennisetum americanum, Kochia scoparia. 2) Perennial: Cynara cardunculus, Helianthus tuberosus, Miscantus sinensis, Arundo donax. Almost all species tested were represented by several genotypes. The total amount of species and genotype tested was 16. On all species, main phenological, biometric and productive determinations were performed. The hypothesized final use was intended to be electric power production by direct combustion and/or gasification. In addition, specific calorific value was also determined by adiabatic calorimeter as well as chemical composition of dry matter and ash composition. Species showing high yield potential, both from the quantitative and qualitative point of view, were Sorghum bicolor and Kochia scoparia (among annuals), as well as Miscanthus sinensis and Arundo donax (among perennials). Total dry matter yield ranged from about 23 tha -1 in the annual species to about 56 tha -1 in the perennials. The highest total calorific power obtainable from dry epigeic biomass was measured in Sorghum bicolor and Arundo donax - 4023 Kcal Kg -1 and 4166 Kcal Kg -1 respectively. The preliminary results suggest that vegetable biomass is environmentally-friendly and could contribute significantly to the world energy needs. (author)

  7. A management guide for planting and production of switchgrass as a biomass crop in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elbersen, H.W.; Christian, D.G.; Bassam, N.E.; Sauerbeck, G.; Alexopoulou, E.; Sharma, N.; Piscioneri, I.

    2004-01-01

    Switchgrass is a perennial C4 grass native to North America, where it occurs naturally from 55º N latitude to deep into Mexico. It is used for soil conservation, forage production, as an ornamental grass and more recently as a biomass crop for ethanol, fibre, electricity and heat production. As

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehmel, Ute Constanze

    2007-07-18

    The theme of this thesis was chosen against the background of the necessary substitution of fossil fuels and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One major solution for these topics may be the energy generation from domestically produced biomass. The overall aim of this thesis was the identification of one or more efficient energy cropping systems for Central Europe. The existence of diverse production environments necessitates further diversification and the identification of several energy crops and the development of energy cropping systems suited to those diverse environments. This thesis starts with an introductory essay (chapter 1), which provides the background for renewable energy production, its features, demands and potentials, and the scientific basis of this thesis. Chapters 2 to 6 consist of five manuscripts to be published in reviewed journals (Papers I, II, IV and V) or in a multi-author book (Paper III). Subsequently, the results from all papers are discussed in a general setting (chapter 7), from which a general conclusion is formulated (chapter 8). The basis of the research formed four field experiments, which were conducted at the experimental sites Ihinger Hof, Oberer Lindenhof and Goldener Acker of the University of Hohenheim, in south-western Germany. Paper I addresses the overall objective of this thesis. Selected cropping systems for this experiment were short rotation willow, miscanthus, switchgrass, energy maize and two different crop rotation systems including winter oilseed rape, winter wheat and winter triticale with either conventional tillage or no-till. The systems were cultivated with three different nitrogen fertilizer applications. An energy balance was calculated to evaluate the biomass and energy yields of the different cropping systems. Results indicate that perennial lignocellulosic crops combine high biomass and net energy yields with low input and potential ecological impacts. Switchgrass, which produced low yields

  10. Soil denitrifier community size changes with land use change to perennial bioenergy cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Karen A.; Deen, Bill; Dunfield, Kari E.

    2016-10-01

    Dedicated biomass crops are required for future bioenergy production. However, the effects of large-scale land use change (LUC) from traditional annual crops, such as corn-soybean rotations to the perennial grasses (PGs) switchgrass and miscanthus, on soil microbial community functioning is largely unknown. Specifically, ecologically significant denitrifying communities, which regulate N2O production and consumption in soils, may respond differently to LUC due to differences in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) inputs between crop types and management systems. Our objective was to quantify bacterial denitrifying gene abundances as influenced by corn-soybean crop production compared to PG biomass production. A field trial was established in 2008 at the Elora Research Station in Ontario, Canada (n  =  30), with miscanthus and switchgrass grown alongside corn-soybean rotations at different N rates (0 and 160 kg N ha-1) and biomass harvest dates within PG plots. Soil was collected on four dates from 2011 to 2012 and quantitative PCR was used to enumerate the total bacterial community (16S rRNA) and communities of bacterial denitrifiers by targeting nitrite reductase (nirS) and N2O reductase (nosZ) genes. Miscanthus produced significantly larger yields and supported larger nosZ denitrifying communities than corn-soybean rotations regardless of management, indicating large-scale LUC from corn-soybean to miscanthus may be suitable in variable Ontario climatic conditions and under varied management, while potentially mitigating soil N2O emissions. Harvesting switchgrass in the spring decreased yields in N-fertilized plots, but did not affect gene abundances. Standing miscanthus overwinter resulted in higher 16S rRNA and nirS gene copies than in fall-harvested crops. However, the size of the total (16S rRNA) and denitrifying bacterial communities changed differently over time and in response to LUC, indicating varying controls on these communities.

  11. Modeling plant interspecific interactions from experiments with perennial crop mixtures to predict optimal combinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halty, Virginia; Valdés, Matías; Tejera, Mauricio; Picasso, Valentín; Fort, Hugo

    2017-12-01

    The contribution of plant species richness to productivity and ecosystem functioning is a longstanding issue in ecology, with relevant implications for both conservation and agriculture. Both experiments and quantitative modeling are fundamental to the design of sustainable agroecosystems and the optimization of crop production. We modeled communities of perennial crop mixtures by using a generalized Lotka-Volterra model, i.e., a model such that the interspecific interactions are more general than purely competitive. We estimated model parameters -carrying capacities and interaction coefficients- from, respectively, the observed biomass of monocultures and bicultures measured in a large diversity experiment of seven perennial forage species in Iowa, United States. The sign and absolute value of the interaction coefficients showed that the biological interactions between species pairs included amensalism, competition, and parasitism (asymmetric positive-negative interaction), with various degrees of intensity. We tested the model fit by simulating the combinations of more than two species and comparing them with the polycultures experimental data. Overall, theoretical predictions are in good agreement with the experiments. Using this model, we also simulated species combinations that were not sown. From all possible mixtures (sown and not sown) we identified which are the most productive species combinations. Our results demonstrate that a combination of experiments and modeling can contribute to the design of sustainable agricultural systems in general and to the optimization of crop production in particular. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Multi-farm economic analysis of perennial energy crops in Central Greece, taking into account the CAP reform

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lychnaras, Vassilis; Schneider, Uwe A.

    2011-01-01

    This study analyses farm level economic impacts of biomass production from perennial crops including Arundo donax L. (arundo), Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus), Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) and Cynara cardunculus L. (cardoon). Regional biomass supply curves are estimated with a dynamic, multi-farm, mathematical programming model. Micro-economic data for the model are generated from farm surveys covering 52 farms containing a total of 400 parcels, in Central Greece. The study also examines the potential effects of the Common Agricultural Policy reform in 2003 on regional biomass supply. Simulations show that the policy reform toward decoupled subsidies lowers the cost of biomass between 15 and 25 euro per tonne. Switchgrass appears to be the most attractive option, followed by cardoon and miscanthus. Due to high specific machinery cost, arundo is never preferred. Relative to the agricultural policy setting of Agenda 2000, the biomass potential increases more for farms of small economic size and farms with a higher share of cotton. (author)

  13. Multi-farm economic analysis of perennial energy crops in Central Greece, taking into account the CAP reform

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lychnaras, Vassilis [Centre for Planning and Economic Research, 11, Amerikis str., 106 72 Athens (Greece); Schneider, Uwe A. [Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change, University of Hamburg, KlimaCampus Hamburg, Bundesstrasse 55, D-20146 Hamburg (Germany)

    2011-01-15

    This study analyses farm level economic impacts of biomass production from perennial crops including Arundo donax L. (arundo), Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus), Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) and Cynara cardunculus L. (cardoon). Regional biomass supply curves are estimated with a dynamic, multi-farm, mathematical programming model. Micro-economic data for the model are generated from farm surveys covering 52 farms containing a total of 400 parcels, in Central Greece. The study also examines the potential effects of the Common Agricultural Policy reform in 2003 on regional biomass supply. Simulations show that the policy reform toward decoupled subsidies lowers the cost of biomass between 15 and 25 euro per tonne. Switchgrass appears to be the most attractive option, followed by cardoon and miscanthus. Due to high specific machinery cost, arundo is never preferred. Relative to the agricultural policy setting of Agenda 2000, the biomass potential increases more for farms of small economic size and farms with a higher share of cotton. (author)

  14. Water Use and Water-Use Efficiency of Three Perennial Bioenergy Grass Crops in Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry M. Bennett

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over two-thirds of human water withdrawals are estimated to be used for agricultural production, which is expected to increase as demand for renewable liquid fuels from agricultural crops intensifies. Despite the potential implications of bioenergy crop production on water resources, few data are available on water use of perennial bioenergy grass crops. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare dry matter yield, water use, and water-use efficiency (WUE of elephantgrass, energycane, and giant reed, grown under field conditions for two growing seasons in North Central Florida. Using scaled sap flow sensor data, water use ranged from about 850 to 1150 mm during the growing season, and was generally greater for giant reed and less for elephantgrass. Despite similar or greater water use by giant reed, dry biomass yields of 35 to 40 Mg ha−1 were significantly greater for energycane and elephantgrass, resulting in greater WUE. Overall, water use by the bioenergy crops was greater than the rainfall received during the study, indicating that irrigation will be needed in the region to achieve optimal yields. Species differ in water use and WUE and species selection can play an important role with regard to potential consequences for water resources.

  15. Changes of biomass in some perennial grass species. | M.C. ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Patterns of seasonal herbaceous biomass change in a burned, ungrazed savanna woodland are reported. A standard clipping technique was used and material farmed in the current season was separated from that formed in the previous season for three perennial grass species: Brachiaria nigropedata, Andropogon ...

  16. 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.

  17. Next steps in determining the overall sustainability of perennial bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial bioenergy crops are being developed and evaluated in the United States to partially offset petroleum transport fuels. Accurate accounting of upstream and downstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is necessary to measure the overall carbon intensity of new biofuel feedstocks. For example, c...

  18. Gene Flow in Genetically Engineered Perennial Grasses: Lessons for Modification of Dedicated Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass, will play a major role in crop improvement for a wide range of beneficial traits specific to biofuels. One obstacle that arises regarding transgenic improvement of perennials used for biofuels is the propensity of these plants t...

  19. A Decade of Carbon Flux Measurements with Annual and Perennial Crop Rotations on the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiro, B. D.; Tenuta, M.; Gao, X.; Gervais, M.

    2016-12-01

    The Fluxnet database has over 100 cropland sites, some of which have long-term (over a decade) measurements. Carbon neutrality is one goal of sustainable agriculture, although measurements over many annual cropping systems have indicated that soil carbon is often lost. Croplands are complex systems because the CO2 exchange depends on the type of crop, soil, weather, and management decisions such as planting date, nutrient fertilization and pest management strategy. Crop rotations are often used to decrease pest pressure, and can range from a simple 2-crop system, to have 4 or more crops in series. Carbon dioxide exchange has been measured using the flux-gradient technique since 2006 in agricultural systems in Manitoba, Canada. Two cropping systems are being followed: one that is a rotation of annual crops (corn, faba bean, spring wheat, rapeseed, barley, spring wheat, corn, soybean, spring wheat, soybean); and the other with a perennial phase of alfalfa/grass in years 3 to 6. Net ecosystem production ranged from a gain of 330 g C m-2 y-1 in corn to a loss of 75 g C m-2 y-1 in a poor spring-wheat crop. Over a decade, net ecosystem production for the annual cropping system was not significantly different from zero (carbon neutral), but the addition of the perennial phase increased the sink to 130 g C m-2 y-1. Once harvest removals were included, there was a net loss of carbon ranging from 77 g C m-2 y-1 in the annual system to 52 g C m-2 y-1 in the annual-perennial system; but neither of these were significantly different from zero. Termination of the perennial phase of the rotation only caused short-term increases in respiration. We conclude that both these systems were close to carbon-neutral over a decade even though they were tilled with a short growing season (90 to 130 days). We discuss the need for more datasets on agricultural systems to inform management options to increase the soil carbon sink.

  20. 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.

  1. Integrated production of warm season grasses and agroforestry for biomass production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samson, R.; Omielan, J. [Resource Efficient Agricultural Production-Canada, Ste, Anne de Bellevue, Quebec (Canada); Girouard, P.; Henning, J. [McGill Univ., Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec (Canada)

    1993-12-31

    Increased research on C{sub 3} and C{sub 4} perennial biomass crops is generating a significant amount of information on the potential of these crops to produce large quantities of low cost biomass. In many parts of North America it appears that both C{sub 3} and C{sub 4} species are limited by water availability particularly on marginal soils. In much of North America, rainfall is exceeded by evaporation. High transpiration rates by fast growing trees and rainfall interception by the canopy appear to indicate that this can further exacerbate the problem of water availability. C{sub 4} perennial grasses appear to have distinct advantages over C{sub 3} species planted in monoculture systems particularly on marginal soils. C{sub 4} grasses historically predominated over much of the land that is now available for biomass production because of their adaptation to low humidity environments and periods of low soil moisture. The planting of short rotation forestry (SRF) species in an energy agroforestry system is proposed as an alternative production strategy which could potentially alleviate many of the problems associated with SRF monocultures. Energy agroforestry would be complementary to both production of conventional farm crops and C{sub 4} perennial biomass crops because of beneficial microclimatic effects.

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. Crop-associated virus reduces the rooting depth of non-crop perennial native grass more than non-crop-associated virus with known viral suppressor of RNA silencing (VSR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmstrom, Carolyn M; Bigelow, Patrick; Trębicki, Piotr; Busch, Anna K; Friel, Colleen; Cole, Ellen; Abdel-Azim, Heba; Phillippo, Colin; Alexander, Helen M

    2017-09-15

    As agricultural acreage expanded and came to dominate landscapes across the world, viruses gained opportunities to move between crop and wild native plants. In the Midwestern USA, virus exchange currently occurs between widespread annual Poaceae crops and remnant native perennial prairie grasses now under consideration as bioenergy feedstocks. In this region, the common aphid species Rhopalosiphum padi L. (the bird cherry-oat aphid) transmits several virus species in the family Luteoviridae, including Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV-PAV, genus Luteovirus) and Cereal yellow dwarf virus (CYDV-RPV and -RPS, genus Polerovirus). The yellow dwarf virus (YDV) species in these two genera share genetic similarities in their 3'-ends, but diverge in the 5'-regions. Most notably, CYDVs encode a P0 viral suppressor of RNA silencing (VSR) absent in BYDV-PAV. Because BYDV-PAV has been reported more frequently in annual cereals and CYDVs in perennial non-crop grasses, we examine the hypothesis that the viruses' genetic differences reflect different affinities for crop and non-crop hosts. Specifically, we ask (i) whether CYDVs might persist within and affect a native non-crop grass more strongly than BYDV-PAV, on the grounds that the polerovirus VSR could better moderate the defenses of a well-defended perennial, and (ii) whether the opposite pattern of effects might occur in a less defended annual crop. Because previous work found that the VSR of CYDV-RPS possessed greater silencing suppressor efficiency than that of CYDV-RPV, we further explored (iii) whether a novel grass-associated CYDV-RPS isolate would influence a native non-crop grass more strongly than a comparable CYDV-RPV isolate. In growth chamber studies, we found support for this hypothesis: only grass-associated CYDV-RPS stunted the shoots and crowns of Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass), a perennial native North American prairie grass, whereas crop-associated BYDV-PAV (and coinfection with BYDV-PAV and CYDV-RPS) most

  5. Anaerobic co-digestion of perennials: Methane potential and digestate nitrogen fertilizer value

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muller-Stover, Dorette Sophie; Sun, Guotao; Kroff, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Co-digestion of crop biomass improves the traditional manure-based biogas yield due to an increased content of easily degradable carbon compounds. In this study, the methane potential of three perennials (grass, legumes, and grass+legume) was determined using various amounts together with animal ...

  6. Root Characteristics of Perennial Warm-Season Grasslands Managed for Grazing and Biomass Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rattan Lal

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Minirhizotrons were used to study root growth characteristics in recently established fields dominated by perennial C4-grasses that were managed either for cattle grazing or biomass production for bioenergy in Virginia, USA. Measurements over a 13-month period showed that grazing resulted in smaller total root volumes and root diameters. Under biomass management, root volume was 40% higher (49 vs. 35 mm3 and diameters were 20% larger (0.29 vs. 0.24 mm compared to grazing. While total root length did not differ between grazed and biomass treatments, root distribution was shallower under grazed areas, with 50% of total root length in the top 7 cm of soil, compared to 41% in ungrazed exclosures. These changes (i.e., longer roots and greater root volume in the top 10 cm of soil under grazing but the reverse at 17–28 cm soil depths were likely caused by a shift in plant species composition as grazing reduced C4 grass biomass and allowed invasion of annual unsown species. The data suggest that management of perennial C4 grasslands for either grazing or biomass production can affect root growth in different ways and this, in turn, may have implications for the subsequent carbon sequestration potential of these grasslands.

  7. 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...

  8. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  9. 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.

  10. Biomass productivity and radiation utilisation of innovative cropping systems for biorefinery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Lærke, Poul Erik; Jiao, Xiurong

    2017-01-01

    rotation of annual crops (maize, beet, hemp/oat, triticale, winter rye and winter rapeseed), ii) perennial crops intensively fertilised (festulolium, reed canary, cocksfoot and tall fescue), low-fertilised (miscanthus) or unfertilised (grass-legume mixtures) and iii) traditional systems (continuous...

  11. 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 ...

  12. Life cycle analysis of multi-crop lignocellulosic material (perennial grasses) for bioethanol production in western Canada : a review.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tripathy, A. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Bioproducts and Bioprocessing; Panigrahi, S. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering; Mupondwa, E.K. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Bioproducts and Bioprocessing

    2009-07-01

    This paper presented a life cycle assessment of multi-crop lignocellulosic biomass to determine the environmental performance of a bioethanol biorefinery in western Canada. The study investigated the economic aspects of the ethanol fuel system such as biorefinery operating costs and possible improvements in biorefinery economics resulting from pretreatment, hydrolysis, and fermentation processes. The eco-efficiency was determined by comparing economic parameters with selected environmental parameters. The study also compared the efficiency of the lignoce lulosic biorefinery with grain-based dry milling ethanol plants that produce ethanol as well as dried grains and solubles used as animal feed. The study showed that the choice of feedstock and location of the biorefinery is very important. The location should be carefully chosen where there is no water shortage. Various low valued lignocellulosic energy crops such as switch grass, alfalfa, and other perennial grasses can grow in marginal or pasture land and can decrease production costs considerably, thus improving the economic viability of biorefineries. The use of co-products can also add value to the process and can decrease the cost of ethanol production. tabs., figs.

  13. Abiotic factors affect the recruitment and biomass of perennial grass and evergreen shrub seedlings in denuded areas of Patagonian Monte rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosco, Tomás; Bertiller, Mónica Beatriz; Carrera, Analía Lorena

    2018-07-15

    Assessing the ability of key species to cope with environmental stresses in disturbed areas is an important issue for recovery of degraded arid ecosystem. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of soil moisture, exposure to UV radiation, and presence/absence of litter with different chemistry on soil N, recruitment and biomass of seedlings of perennial grass (Poa ligularis and Nassella tenuis) and evergreen shrub species (Atriplex lampa and Larrea divaricata) in denuded areas. We carried out a microcosm experiment with soil blocks (28 cm depth) sowed with seeds of the target species, subjected to different levels of litter type (perennial grass-evergreen shrub mixture, evergreen shrub mixture, and no litter), UV radiation (near ambient and reduced UV), and soil water (high: 15-25% and low 5-15%). Periodically, during 6 months, we assessed soil-N (total and inorganic) at two depths and species seedling recruitment at microcosms. Additionally, emerged seedlings of each species were transplanted to individual pots containing soil and subjected to the same previous factors during 12 months. Then, all plants were harvested and biomass assessed. Only inorganic soil-N at the upper soil varied among treatments increasing with the presence of evergreen shrub litter, exposure to ambient UV, and high soil water. Inorganic soil-N, promoted by near ambient UV and high soil water, had a positive effect on recruitment of perennial grasses and A. lampa. Both litter types promoted the recruitment of perennial grasses. Evergreen shrub litter and high soil water promoted the recruitment of L. divaricata. Seedling biomass of perennial grasses increased with high soil water and reduced UV. Ambient UV had positive or null effects on biomass of evergreen shrub seedlings. High soil water increased biomass of L. divaricata seedlings. We concluded that soil water appeared as the most limiting factor for seedling recruitment of all species whereas inorganic soil N limited the

  14. Genomics: a potential panacea for the perennial problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClure, Kendra A; Sawler, Jason; Gardner, Kyle M; Money, Daniel; Myles, Sean

    2014-10-01

    Perennial crops represent important fresh and processed food sources worldwide, but advancements in breeding perennials are often impeded due to their very nature. The perennial crops we rely on most for food take several years to reach production maturity and require large spaces to grow, which make breeding new cultivars costly compared with most annual crops. Because breeding perennials is inefficient and expensive, they are often grown in monocultures consisting of small numbers of elite cultivars that are vegetatively propagated for decades or even centuries. This practice puts many perennial crops at risk for calamity since they remain stationary in the face of evolving pest and disease pressures. Although there is tremendous genetic diversity available to them, perennial crop breeders often struggle to generate commercially successful cultivars in a timely and cost-effective manner because of the high costs of breeding. Moreover, consumers often expect the same cultivars to be available indefinitely, and there is often little or no incentive for growers and retailers to take the risk of adopting new cultivars. While genomics studies linking DNA variants to commercially important traits have been performed in diverse perennial crops, the translation of these studies into accelerated breeding of improved cultivars has been limited. Here we explain the "perennial problem" in detail and demonstrate how modern genomics tools can significantly improve the cost effectiveness of breeding perennial crops and thereby prevent crucial food sources from succumbing to the perils of perpetual propagation. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. Interactions between crop biomass and development of foliar diseases in winter wheat and the potential to graduate the fungicide dose according to crop biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Peter Kryger; Jørgensen, Lise Nistrup

    2016-01-01

    dose. The study was carried out investigating fungicide dose response controlling foliar diseases in winter wheat at three biomass densities obtained growing the crop at three nitrogen levels and using variable seed rates. Further the field experiments included three fungicide dose rates at each...... biomass level, an untreated control, and 75%, 50% and 33% of the recommended fungicide dose rate and the experiments were replicated for three years. Crop biomass had a significant influence on occurrence of septoria and yellow rust with greater disease severity at increasing crop biomass. In two of three...... years, the interaction of crop biomass and fungicide dose rate had a significant influence on disease severity indicating a biomassdependent dose response. The interaction occurred in the two years with high yield potential in combination with severe disease attack. If the variation in crop density...

  17. Investigating the Sustainability of Perennial Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherlin, C. E.; Brunsell, N. A.; De Oliveira, G.; Crews, T.; Vico, G.

    2017-12-01

    The changing climate leads to uncertainties concerning the sustainability of certain agricultural resources, and with the additional stresses of an increasing global population, uncertainty in food security will greatly increase. To adhere to future food demands in the face of this changing climate, perennial agriculture has been a proposed solution. However, it is equally important to assure that perennial agriculture is not negatively affecting the climate in exchange for this proposed more robust food source. We chose to examine the interactions between perennial and annual agricultural crops by focusing on the efficiency of exchanges with the atmosphere. This is done using the omega decoupling factor for 4 different sites as a way of quantifying the contributions of radiation and stomatal conductance over the resulting water and carbon cycles. This gives us an indication of how the plant canopy is interacting with, and influencing the local microclimate. Ultimately, this should give us an indication of the ability of perennial crops to aid in the climate mitigation process. We hypothesized that the perennial site chosen would have omega values more similar to the omega values of a natural grassland rather than an annual crop site. Using AmeriFlux towers to determine the canopy values needed to calculate the omega decoupling factor, we focused on the Kernza perennial crops being grown at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas (KLS), in comparison to a natural grassland in Manhattan, Kansas (KON), a typical land cover model in Lawrence, Kansas (KFS), and an annual crop site in Lamont, Oklahoma (ARM). These results will allow us to move forward in the investigation of perennial crops as a sustainable food source.

  18. Biomass [updated

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turhollow Jr, Anthony F [ORNL

    2016-01-01

    Biomass resources and conversion technologies are diverse. Substantial biomass resources exist including woody crops, herbaceous perennials and annuals, forest resources, agricultural residues, and algae. Conversion processes available include fermentation, gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, combustion, and transesterification. Bioderived products include liquid fuels (e.g. ethanol, biodiesel, and gasoline and diesel substitutes), gases, electricity, biochemical, and wood pellets. At present the major sources of biomass-derived liquid fuels are from first generation biofuels; ethanol from maize and sugar cane (89 billion L in 2013) and biodiesel from vegetable oils and fats (24 billion liters in 2011). For other than traditional uses, policy in the forms of mandates, targets, subsidies, and greenhouse gas emission targets has largely been driving biomass utilization. Second generation biofuels have been slow to take off.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Biomass and biomass water use efficiency in oilseed crop (Brassica juncea L.) under semi-arid microenvironments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adak, Tarun; Kumar, Gopal; Chakravarty, N.V.K.; Katiyar, R.K.; Deshmukh, P.S.; Joshi, H.C.

    2013-01-01

    Biomass production in arid and semi-arid regions requires a special attention owing to spatiotemporal scarcity of irrigation water wherein improved water use efficiency (WUE) of the crop is targeted. Under field conditions, the crop undergoes dynamic changes in near ground or within-canopy microenvironments. This changed microclimatic condition may have an impact on phenological response of the oilseed crop which in turn would affect biomass productivity, economic seed yield and water use efficiency of the crop. Henceforth, quantification of biomass production and its WUE of oilseed Brassica crop is essentially required owing to have better understanding of the crop water requirement under the era of climate change. Following a 2 years field experiment, it was revealed that the changes in leaf area index were explained by about 68–74%. The best fit polynomial third order regression analysis indicated >93% prediction in biomass production as a function of time factor. Improved biomass partitioning into economic sinks was also observed. Small scale change in near ground microenvironment may reduce the prediction of biomass variability to the extent of 3%. The mean ET variations were observed as 2.4, 1.5 and 3.2 mm day −1 during the critical phenological stages. Mean seed yield, biomass WUE and seed yield WUE ranged between 2.71 and 2.87 Mg ha −1 , 11.4 and 13.1 g m −2 mm −1 and 19.3 and 22.9 kg ha −1 mm −1 respectively. Variations in both biomass and seed yield water use efficiencies due to small scale change in near ground microclimates were revealed. -- Highlights: ► Assessing biomass productivity and its water use efficiency under arid and semi-arid regions is important. ► Under field conditions, the crop undergoes dynamic changes in near ground or within-canopy microenvironments. ► We have estimated changes in seasonal ET, within-canopy micrometeorological dynamics. ► Biomass productivity, partitioning and water use efficiencies were

  2. Effects of dairy manure management in annual and perennial cropping systems on soil microbial communities associated with in situ N2O fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunfield, Kari; Thompson, Karen; Bent, Elizabeth; Abalos, Diego; Wagner-Riddle, Claudia

    2016-04-01

    Liquid dairy manure (LDM) application and ploughing events may affect soil microbial community functioning differently between perennial and annual cropping systems due to plant-specific characteristics stimulating changes in microbial community structure. Understanding how these microbial communities change in response to varied management, and how these changes relate to in situ N2O fluxes may allow the creation of predictive models for use in the development of best management practices (BMPs) to decrease nitrogen (N) losses through choice of crop, plough, and LDM practices. Our objectives were to contrast changes in the population sizes and community structures of genes associated with nitrifier (amoA, crenamoA) and denitrifier (nirK, nirS, nosZ) communities in differently managed annual and perennial fields demonstrating variation in N2O flux, and to determine if differences in these microbial communities were linked to the observed variation in N2O fluxes. Soil was sampled in 2012 and in 2014 in a 4-ha spring-applied LDM grass-legume (perennial) plot and two 4-ha corn (annual) treatments under fall or spring LDM application. Soil DNA was extracted and used to target N-cycling genes via qPCR (n=6) and for next-generation sequencing (Illumina Miseq) (n=3). Significantly higher field-scale N2O fluxes were observed in the annual plots compared to the perennial system; however N2O fluxes increased after plough down of the perennial plot. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) indicated differences in N-cycling communities between annual and perennial cropping systems, and some communities became similar between annual and perennial plots after ploughing. Shifts in these communities demonstrated relationships with agricultural management, which were associated with differences in N2O flux. Indicator species analysis was used to identify operational taxonomic units (OTUs) most responsible for community shifts related to management. Nitrifying and denitrifying soil

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. Root biomass in cereals, catch crops and weeds can be reliably estimated without considering aboveground biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hu, Teng; Sørensen, Peter; Wahlström, Ellen Margrethe

    2018-01-01

    and management factors may affect this allometric relationship making such estimates uncertain and biased. Therefore, we aimed to explore how root biomass for typical cereal crops, catch crops and weeds could most reliably be estimated. Published and unpublished data on aboveground and root biomass (corrected...

  6. Recent Progress in Perennial Buckwheat Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing-Fu Chen

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Grains in the genus Fagopyrum have benefits to human health and are an excellent gluten-free raw material. Of all cereal foods, this genus has the highest total content of amino-acid nutrients necessary for humans; nutrients that are resistant to digestion (protein and starch resulting in their sustained release; higher dietary fiber content than key cereals, and is rich in a special healthy ingredient (flavonoids. Fagopyrum includes 24 species of which five are perennial. Among them, golden buckwheat (F.cymosum complex is the most important perennial buckwheat, which is not only used in Chinese medicine, but also has great potential in healthy food crop. In order to provide some clues for perennial crop studies and their industry development, this paper presents the state of perennial buckwheat research in terms of taxonomy; natural chemical products and pharmacological and health functions; genetics and evolution; breeding; and product development and utilization. The great advances such as successful interspecific crossing and its subsequent new perennial buckwheat varieties will speed up the development of the perennial buckwheat industry.

  7. 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)

  8. 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).

  9. Quantification and characterization of cotton crop biomass residue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton crop residual biomass remaining in the field after mechanical seed cotton harvest is not typically harvested and utilized off-site thereby generating additional revenue for producers. Recently, interest has increased in utilizing biomass materials as feedstock for the production of fuel and ...

  10. Assessing Water-use Relationships in a Perennial Kernza Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Oliveira, G.; Brunsell, N. A.; Sutherlin, C. E.; Crews, T.; Vico, G.

    2017-12-01

    Perennial grain/forage crops can sustain high yields without replanting for 3-10 years or more, resulting in potentially important environmental benefits. Although previous research has been conducted in perennial food crops, the coupling between these ecosystems and the atmosphere is not well understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate the magnitude and temporal variability of the water-use relationships in a perennial Kernza wheatgrass crop in Salina, north-central region of Kansas (KS), USA. The study period comprised approximately 4.5 years (May 2012-October 2016) of eddy covariance observations collected at the US-KLS AmeriFlux tower. In particular, we examine the water-use efficiency, carbon and water fluxes in relation to the local environmental factors, such as vapor pressure deficit, soil moisture, air temperature, etc. An analysis of the correspondence between accumulated precipitation (PPT) and ET in the perennial crop indicated a most likely low surface runoff and that there were other sources of water for plant intake in addition to the annual PPT, i.e., deep water. In this sense, we highlight that the long roots observed in perennial crops may facilitate the water uptake in the deeper soil layers, providing extra resources for the plant growth especially when the rainfall indices are low. The results obtained in this work are important in order to better understand the hydrologic cycle of perennial agroecosystems as well as to understand the benefits and disadvantages in relation to annual crops particularly under changing climatic conditions.

  11. 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

  12. Biomass: An overview in the United States of America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robertson, T. [USDA Soil Conservation Service, Washington, DC (United States); Shapouri, H.

    1993-12-31

    Concerns about the heavy reliance on foreign sources of fossil fuels, environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels, environmental impacts of agricultural activities, the need to find sustainable renewable sources of energy, and the need for a sustainable agricultural resource base have been driving forces for the development of biomass as a source of energy. The development of biomass conversion technologies, of high-yielding herbaceous and short-rotation woody biomass crops, of high-yielding food, feed, and fiber crops, and of livestock with higher levels of feed conversion efficiencies has made the transition from total reliance on fossil fuels to utilization of renewable sources of energy from biomass a reality. A variety of biomass conversion technologies have been developed and tested. Public utilities, private power companies, and the paper industry are interested in applying this technology. Direct burning of biomass and/or cofiring in existing facilities will reduce emissions of greenhouse and other undesirable gases. Legislation has been passed to promote biomass production and utilization for liquid fuels and electricity. Land is available. The production of short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses provides alternatives to commodity crops to stabilize income in the agricultural sector. The production of biomass crops can also reduce soil erosion, sediment loadings to surface water, and agricultural chemical loadings to ground and surface water; provide wildlife habitat; increase income and employment opportunities in rural areas; and provide a more sustainable agricultural resource base.

  13. The Effect of Aqueous Ammonia Soaking Pretreatment on Methane Generation Using Different Lignocellulosic Biomasses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Antonopoulou, Georgia; Gavala, Hariklia N.; Skiadas, Ioannis

    2015-01-01

    In the present study aqueous ammonia soaking (AAS) has been tested as a pretreatment method for the anaerobic digestion of three lignocellulosic biomasses of different origin: one agricultural residue: sunflower straw, one perennial crop: grass and a hardwood: poplar sawdust.The methane production...

  14. IMPROVING BIOMASS LOGISTICS COST WITHIN AGRONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY CONSTRAINTS AND BIOMASS QUALITY TARGETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Richard Hess; Kevin L. Kenney; Christopher T. Wright; David J. Muth; William Smith

    2012-10-01

    Equipment manufacturers have made rapid improvements in biomass harvesting and handling equipment. These improvements have increased transportation and handling efficiencies due to higher biomass densities and reduced losses. Improvements in grinder efficiencies and capacity have reduced biomass grinding costs. Biomass collection efficiencies (the ratio of biomass collected to the amount available in the field) as high as 75% for crop residues and greater than 90% for perennial energy crops have also been demonstrated. However, as collection rates increase, the fraction of entrained soil in the biomass increases, and high biomass residue removal rates can violate agronomic sustainability limits. Advancements in quantifying multi-factor sustainability limits to increase removal rate as guided by sustainable residue removal plans, and mitigating soil contamination through targeted removal rates based on soil type and residue type/fraction is allowing the use of new high efficiency harvesting equipment and methods. As another consideration, single pass harvesting and other technologies that improve harvesting costs cause biomass storage moisture management challenges, which challenges are further perturbed by annual variability in biomass moisture content. Monitoring, sampling, simulation, and analysis provide basis for moisture, time, and quality relationships in storage, which has allowed the development of moisture tolerant storage systems and best management processes that combine moisture content and time to accommodate baled storage of wet material based upon “shelf-life.” The key to improving biomass supply logistics costs has been developing the associated agronomic sustainability and biomass quality technologies and processes that allow the implementation of equipment engineering solutions.

  15. Strip cropping of alternating perennial grass–clover and annual rye–vetch intercrops when grown within an organic farming system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Johansen, A.; Carter, Mette Sustmann

    2012-01-01

    interactions. Less soil water content below the perennial strip indicated greater water uptake, than below the annual strips. Unfortunately, the present strip cropping system did not possess the right balance of co-existence and complementarity. However, from a practical point of view the system was manageable...

  16. Maintaining environmental quality while expanding biomass production: Sub-regional U.S. policy simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    This paper evaluates environmental policy effects on ligno-cellulosic biomass production and environmental outcomes using an integrated bioeconomic optimization model. The environmental policy integrated climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate crop yields and environmental indicators in current and future potential bioenergy cropping systems based on weather, topographic and soil data. The crop yield and environmental outcome parameters from EPIC are combined with biomass transport costs and economic parameters in a representative farmer profit-maximizing mathematical optimization model. The model is used to predict the impact of alternative policies on biomass production and environmental outcomes. We find that without environmental policy, rising biomass prices initially trigger production of annual crop residues, resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion, and nutrient losses to surface and ground water. At higher biomass prices, perennial bioenergy crops replace annual crop residues as biomass sources, resulting in lower environmental impacts. Simulations of three environmental policies namely a carbon price, a no-till area subsidy, and a fertilizer tax reveal that only the carbon price policy systematically mitigates environmental impacts. The fertilizer tax is ineffectual and too costly to farmers. The no-till subsidy is effective only at low biomass prices and is too costly to government. - Highlights: ► Bioeconomic optimization model predicts how biomass production affects environment. ► Rising biomass production could impair climate and water quality. ► Environmental protection policies compared as biomass supply grows. ► Carbon price protects the environment cost-effectively as biomass supply expands

  17. 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)

  18. Bioenergy production from perennial energy crops: a consequential LCA of 12 bioenergy scenarios including land use changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonini, Davide; Hamelin, Lorie; Wenzel, Henrik; Astrup, Thomas

    2012-12-18

    In the endeavor of optimizing the sustainability of bioenergy production in Denmark, this consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluated the environmental impacts associated with the production of heat and electricity from one hectare of Danish arable land cultivated with three perennial crops: ryegrass (Lolium perenne), willow (Salix viminalis) and Miscanthus giganteus. For each, four conversion pathways were assessed against a fossil fuel reference: (I) anaerobic co-digestion with manure, (II) gasification, (III) combustion in small-to-medium scale biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plants and IV) co-firing in large scale coal-fired CHP plants. Soil carbon changes, direct and indirect land use changes as well as uncertainty analysis (sensitivity, MonteCarlo) were included in the LCA. Results showed that global warming was the bottleneck impact, where only two scenarios, namely willow and Miscanthus co-firing, allowed for an improvement as compared with the reference (-82 and -45 t CO₂-eq. ha⁻¹, respectively). The indirect land use changes impact was quantified as 310 ± 170 t CO₂-eq. ha⁻¹, representing a paramount average of 41% of the induced greenhouse gas emissions. The uncertainty analysis confirmed the results robustness and highlighted the indirect land use changes uncertainty as the only uncertainty that can significantly change the outcome of the LCA results.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Analysis of proteins involved in biodegradation of crop biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kamau; Trotman, Audrey

    1998-01-01

    The biodegradation of crop biomass for re-use in crop production is part of the bioregenerative life support concept proposed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for long duration, manned space exploration. The current research was conducted in the laboratory to evaluate the use of electrophoretic analysis as a means of rapidly assaying for constitutive and induced proteins associated with the bacterial degradation of crop residue. The proteins involved in crop biomass biodegradation are either constitutive or induced. As a result, effluent and cultures were examined to investigate the potential of using electrophoretic techniques as a means of monitoring the biodegradation process. Protein concentration for optimum banding patterns was determined using the Bio-Rad Protein Assay kit. Four bacterial soil isolates were obtained from the G.W. Carver research Farm at Tuskegee University and used in the decomposition of components of plant biomass. The culture, WDSt3A was inoculated into 500 mL of either Tryptic Soy Broth or Nutrient Broth. Incubation, with shaking of each flask was for 96 hours at 30 C. The cultures consistently gave unique banding patterns under denaturing protein electrophoresis conditions, The associated extracellular enzymes also yielded characteristic banding patterns over a 14-day period, when native electrophoresis techniques were used to examine effluent from batch culture bioreactors. The current study evaluated sample preparation and staining protocols to determine the ease of use, reproducibility and reliability, as well as the potential for automation.

  2. Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Bischoff-Schaefer, Monika; Bluemel, Sylvia; Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, Silke; Dreux, Laure; Jansen, Jean-Pierre; Kiss, Jozsef; Köhl, Jürgen; Kudsk, Per; Malausa, Thibaut; Messéan, Antoine; Nicot, Philippe C; Ricci, Pierre; Thibierge, Jérôme; Villeneuve, François

    2017-01-01

    EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such initiatives are often fragmented. The operational outputs of national efforts would benefit from closer collaboration among stakeholders via transnationally coordinated approaches, as most economically important pests are similar across Europe. This paper proposes a common European framework on biocontrol R&I. It identifies generic R&I bottlenecks and needs as well as priorities for three crop types (arable, vegetable and perennial crops). The existing gap between the market offers of biocontrol solutions and the demand of growers, the lengthy and expensive registration process for biocontrol solutions and their varying effectiveness due to variable climatic conditions and site-specific factors across Europe are key obstacles hindering the development and adoption of biocontrol solutions in Europe. Considering arable, vegetable and perennial crops, a dozen common target pests are identified for each type of crop and ranked by order of importance at European level. Such a ranked list indicates numerous topics on which future joint transnational efforts would be justified. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. Perennial wheat lines have highly admixed population structure and elevated rates of outcrossing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial wheat has been proposed to alleviate long standing issues with soil erosion in annual cropping systems, while supporting rural communities and providing grain farmers with a marketable climate-resilient crop. The Washington State University perennial wheat breeding program has created sev...

  4. Crop biomass and evapotranspiration estimation using SPOT and Formosat-2 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veloso, Amanda; Demarez, Valérie; Ceschia, Eric; Claverie, Martin

    2013-04-01

    The use of crop models allows simulating plant development, growth and yield under different environmental and management conditions. When combined with high spatial and temporal resolution remote sensing data, these models provide new perspectives for crop monitoring at regional scale. We propose here an approach to estimate time courses of dry aboveground biomass, yield and evapotranspiration (ETR) for summer (maize, sunflower) and winter crops (wheat) by assimilating Green Area Index (GAI) data, obtained from satellite observations, into a simple crop model. Only high spatial resolution and gap-free satellite time series can provide enough information for efficient crop monitoring applications. The potential of remote sensing data is often limited by cloud cover and/or gaps in observation. Data from different sensor systems need then to be combined. For this work, we employed a unique set of Formosat-2 and SPOT images (164 images) and in-situ measurements, acquired from 2006 to 2010 in southwest France. Among the several land surface biophysical variables accessible from satellite observations, the GAI is the one that has a key role in soil-plant-atmosphere interactions and in biomass accumulation process. Many methods have been developed to relate GAI to optical remote sensing signal. Here, seasonal dynamics of remotely sensed GAI were estimated by applying a method based on the inversion of a radiative transfer model using artificial neural networks. The modelling approach is based on the Simple Algorithm for Yield and Evapotranspiration estimate (SAFYE) model, which couples the FAO-56 model with an agro-meteorological model, based on Monteith's light-use efficiency theory. The SAFYE model is a daily time step crop model that simulates time series of GAI, dry aboveground biomass, grain yield and ETR. Crop and soil model parameters were determined using both in-situ measurements and values found in the literature. Phenological parameters were calibrated by the

  5. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Nichols, Jeff A. {Cyber Sciences} [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Wang, Dali [ORNL; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL; Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Wei, Yaxing [ORNL; Singh, Nagendra [ORNL; Kang, Shujiang [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Contemporary global assessments of the deployment potential and sustainability aspects of biofuel crops lack quantitative details. This paper describes an analytical framework capable of meeting the challenges associated with global scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed a modeling platform for bioenergy crops, consisting of five major components: (i) standardized global natural resources and management data sets, (ii) global simulation unit and management scenarios, (iii) model calibration and validation, (iv) high-performance computing (HPC) modeling, and (v) simulation output processing and analysis. A case study with the HPC- Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model (HPC-EPIC) to simulate a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and global biomass feedstock analysis on grassland demonstrates the application of this platform. The results illustrate biomass feedstock variability of switchgrass and provide insights on how the modeling platform can be expanded to better assess sustainable production criteria and other biomass crops. Feedstock potentials on global grasslands and within different countries are also shown. Future efforts involve developing databases of productivity, implementing global simulations for other bioenergy crops (e.g. miscanthus, energycane and agave), and assessing environmental impacts under various management regimes. We anticipated this platform will provide an exemplary tool and assessment data for international communities to conduct global analysis of biofuel biomass feedstocks and sustainability.

  6. Variation in sequences containing microsatellite motifs in the perennial biomass and forage grass, Phalaris arundinacea (Poaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, Susanne; Jankowska, Marta Jolanta; Hodkinson, Trevor Roland; Vellani, Tia; Klaas, Manfred

    2016-03-22

    Forty three microsatellite markers were developed for further genetic characterisation of a forage and biomass grass crop, for which genomic resources are currently scarce. The microsatellite markers were developed from a normalized EST-SSR library. All of the 43 markers gave a clear banding pattern on 3% Metaphor agarose gels. Eight selected SSR markers were tested in detail for polymorphism across eleven DNA samples of large geographic distribution across Europe. The new set of 43 SSR markers will help future research to characterise the genetic structure and diversity of Phalaris arundinacea, with a potential to further understand its invasive character in North American wetlands, as well as aid in breeding work for desired biomass and forage traits. P. arundinacea is particularly valued in the northern latitude as a crop with high biomass potential, even more so on marginal lands.

  7. 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.

  8. Postharvest residues from grass seed crops for bioenergy

    OpenAIRE

    Simić, Aleksandar; Čolić, Vladislava; Vučković, Savo; Dželetović, Željko; Bijelić, Zorica; Mandić, Violeta

    2016-01-01

    During grass seed production, a large amount of low forage quality biomass has been produced. Tall growing perennial grasses such as tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea L.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) can be used as an alternative source for bioenergy production as they can be grown in less cultivated areas, their residues in seed production could be valuable energy source and can be potentially used as a dual purpose crop (bioenergy and forage). In this research, potentials o...

  9. 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.

  10. Environmental impact of converting Conservation Reserve Program land to perennial bioenergy crops in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc-Betes, E.; Hudiburg, T. W.; Khanna, M.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2017-12-01

    Reducing dependence on fossil fuels by the 20% by 2022 mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act would require 35 billion Ga of ethanol and the loss of 9 to 12 Mha of food producing land to biofuel production, challenging our ability to develop a sustainable bioenergy source while meeting the food demands of a growing population. There are currently 8.5 Mha of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a US government funded program to incentivize the retirement of environmentally sensitive cropland out of conventional crop production. About 63% of CRP land area could potentially be converted to energy crops, contributing to biofuel targets without displacing food. With high yields and low fertilization and irrigation requirements, perennial cellulosic crops (e.g. switchgrass and Miscanthus) not only would reduce land requirements by up to 15% compared to prairies or corn-based biofuel, but also serve other conservation goals such as C sequestration in soils, and water and air quality improvement. Here, we use the DayCent biogeochemical model to assess the potential of CRP land conversion to switchgrass or Miscanthus to provide a sustainable source of biofuel, reduce GHG emissions and increase soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in the area of Illinois, which at present contributes to 10% of the biofuel production in the US. Model simulations indicate that the replacement of traditional corn-soy rotation with CRP reduces GHG emissions by 3.3 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 and increases SOC storage at a rate of 0.5 Mg C ha-1 y-1. Conversion of CRP land to cellulosic perennials would further reduce GHG emissions by 1.1 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 for switchgrass and 6.2 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 for Miscanthus, and increase C sequestration in soils (1.7 Tg C for switchgrass and 7.7 Tg C for Miscanthus in 30 years). Cellulosic energy crops would increase average annual yields by approximately 5.6 Mg ha-1 for switchgrass and 13.6 Mg ha-1 for Miscanthus, potentially

  11. Effects of catch crop type and root depth on nitrogen leaching and yield of spring barley

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sapkota, Tek Bahadur; Askegaard, Margrethe; Lægdsmand, Mette

    2012-01-01

    [chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), fodder radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)] and their effect on soil mineral N (NO3− and NH4+) in different soil layers by using the FASSET model. The simulated results of catch crop biomass and root growth and mineral N in the soil...

  12. Cover crop biomass production and water use in the central great plains under varying water availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    The water-limited environment of the semi-arid central Great Plains may not have potential to produce enough cover crop biomass to generate benefits associated with cover crop use in more humid regions. There have been reports that cover crops grown in mixtures produce more biomass with greater wate...

  13. Spatially and Temporally Optimal Biomass Procurement Contracting for Biorefineries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subbu Kumarappan

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper evaluates the optimal composition of annual and perennial biomass feedstocks for a biorefinery. A generic optimization model is built to minimize costs – harvest, transport, storage, seasonal, and environmental costs – subject to various constraints on land availability, feedstock availability, processing capacity, contract terms, and storage losses. The model results are demonstrated through a case study for a midwestern U.S. location, focusing on bioethanol as the likely product. The results suggest that high-yielding energy crops feature prominently (70 to 80% in the feedstock mix in spite of the higher establishment costs. The cost of biomass ranges from 0.16 to 0.20 $ l-1 (US$ 0.60 to $0.75 per gallon of biofuel. The harvest shed shows that high-yielding energy crops are preferably grown in fields closer to the biorefinery. Low-yielding agricultural residues primarily serve as a buffer crop to meet the shortfall in biomass requirement. For the case study parameters, the model results estimated a price premium for energy crops (2 to 4 $ t-1 within a 16 km (10-mile radius and agricultural residues (5 to 17 $ t-1 in a 16 to 20 km (10 to 20 mile radius.

  14. A stochastic analysis of the decision to produce biomass crops in Ireland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clancy, Daragh; Breen, James P.; Thorne, Fiona; Wallace, Michael

    2012-01-01

    There is increasing interest in biomass crops as an alternative farm activity. However farmer concerns about the production and financial risks associated with growing these crops may be impeding the actual rates of adoption. The uncertainty surrounding risky variables such as the costs of production, yield level, price per tonne and opportunity cost of land make it difficult to accurately calculate the returns to biomass crops. Their lengthy production lifespan may only serve to heighten the level of risk that affects key variables. A stochastic budgeting model is used to estimate distributions of returns from willow and miscanthus in Ireland. The opportunity cost of land is accounted for through the inclusion of the foregone returns from selected conventional agricultural activities. The impact on biomass returns of bioremediation is also examined. The Net Present Values (NPVs) of various biomass investment options are simulated to ascertain the full distribution of possible returns. The results of these simulations are then compared using their respective Cumulative Distribution Functions (CDFs) and the investments are ranked using Stochastic Efficiency with Respect to a Function (SERF). While the distributions of investment returns for miscanthus are wider than those of willow, implying greater risk, the distribution of willow returns is predominantly to the left of zero indicating that such an investment has an extremely high probability of generating a negative return. The results from the SERF analysis show that miscanthus generally has higher certainty equivalents (CEs), and therefore farmers would be more likely to invest in miscanthus rather than willow. -- Highlights: ► We develop a stochastic budgeting model to capture uncertainty in key variables. ► Farmers with higher levels of risk aversion would be unwilling to invest in biomass crops. ► Miscanthus has a greater probability of making a profit than willow. ► Bioremediation can help to offset

  15. Cover Crop Biomass Harvest Influences Cotton Nitrogen Utilization and Productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Ducamp

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a potential in the southeastern US to harvest winter cover crops from cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. fields for biofuels or animal feed use, but this could impact yields and nitrogen (N fertilizer response. An experiment was established to examine rye (Secale cereale L. residue management (RM and N rates on cotton productivity. Three RM treatments (no winter cover crop (NC, residue removed (REM and residue retained (RET and four N rates for cotton were studied. Cotton population, leaf and plant N concentration, cotton biomass and N uptake at first square, and cotton biomass production between first square and cutout were higher for RET, followed by REM and NC. However, leaf N concentration at early bloom and N concentration in the cotton biomass between first square and cutout were higher for NC, followed by REM and RET. Seed cotton yield response to N interacted with year and RM, but yields were greater with RET followed by REM both years. These results indicate that a rye cover crop can be beneficial for cotton, especially during hot and dry years. Long-term studies would be required to completely understand the effect of rye residue harvest on cotton production under conservation tillage.

  16. Development of Perennial Grain Sorghum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stan Cox

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Perennial germplasm derived from crosses between Sorghum bicolor and either S. halepense or S. propinquum is being developed with the goal of preventing and reversing soil degradation in the world’s grain sorghum-growing regions. Perennial grain sorghum plants produce subterranean stems known as rhizomes that sprout to form the next season’s crop. In Kansas, breeding perennial sorghum involves crossing S. bicolor cultivars or breeding lines to S. halepense or perennial S. bicolorn × S. halepense breeding lines, selecting perennial plants from F2 or subsequent populations, crossing those plants with S. bicolor, and repeating the cycle. A retrospective field trial in Kansas showed that selection and backcrossing during 2002–2009 had improved grain yields and seed weights of breeding lines. Second-season grain yields of sorghum lines regrowing from rhizomes were similar to yields in the first season. Further selection cycles have been completed since 2009. Many rhizomatous lines that cannot survive winters in Kansas are perennial at subtropical or tropical locations in North America and Africa. Grain yield in Kansas was not correlated with rhizomatousness in either Kansas or Uganda. Genomic regions affecting rhizome growth and development have been mapped, providing new breeding tools. The S. halepense gene pool may harbor many alleles useful for improving sorghum for a broad range of traits in addition to perenniality.

  17. Establishment techniques in under-sown perennial ryegrass for seed production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Deleuran, Lise C; Boelt, Birte

    2009-01-01

    Establishment methods have proven to be of major importance for grass-seed production. The objective of this research was to test the effect of different sowing techniques on plant establishment and the subsequent seed yield. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is used as the model grass due...... to its large importance in Danish agriculture. In a three-year trial six different methods of under-sowing of perennial ryegrass in a spring barley cover crop were employed. Perennial ryegrass was either sown directly at different depths within the spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) rows or placed 2, 6......, or 12 cm from the spring barley rows. Results of dry-matter yield indicate that the best establishment of the grass occurred when placing the grass 6 or 12 cm from the cover-crop row, and this is of importance in less vigorous grasses. Overall, no seed-yield difference has been observed for perennial...

  18. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model estimates biofuel feedstock crop production across diverse agro-ecological zones within the state, under different future climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaffka, S.; Jenner, M.; Bucaram, S.; George, N.

    2012-12-01

    Both regulators and businesses need realistic estimates for the potential production of biomass feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts. This includes the need to understand how climate change will affect mid-tem and longer-term crop performance and relative advantage. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model is a partial mathematical programming optimization model that estimates the profit level needed for new crop adoption, and the crop(s) displaced when a biomass feedstock crop is added to the state's diverse set of cropping systems, in diverse regions of the state. Both yield and crop price, as elements of profit, can be varied. Crop adoption is tested against current farmer preferences derived from analysis of 10 years crop production data for all crops produced in California, collected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Analysis of this extensive data set resulted in 45 distinctive, representative farming systems distributed across the state's diverse agro-ecological regions. Estimated yields and water use are derived from field trials combined with crop simulation, reported elsewhere. Crop simulation is carried out under different weather and climate assumptions. Besides crop adoption and displacement, crop resource use is also accounted, derived from partial budgets used for each crop's cost of production. Systematically increasing biofuel crop price identified areas of the state where different types of crops were most likely to be adopted. Oilseed crops like canola that can be used for biodiesel production had the greatest potential to be grown in the Sacramento Valley and other northern regions, while sugar beets (for ethanol) had the greatest potential in the northern San Joaquin Valley region, and sweet sorghum in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Up to approximately 10% of existing annual cropland in California was available for new crop adoption. New crops are adopted if the entire cropping system becomes more profitable. In

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Switchgrass biomass energy storage project. Final report, September 23, 1996--December 31, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, G.A.; Teel, A.; Brown, S.S. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    1996-07-01

    The Chariton Valley Biomass Power Project, sponsored by the Chariton Valley RC&D Inc., a USDA-sponsored rural development organization, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Energy Bureau (IDNR-EB), and IES Utilities, a major Iowa energy company, is directed at the development of markets for energy crops in southern Iowa. This effort is part of a statewide coalition of public and private interests cooperating to merge Iowa`s agricultural potential and its long-term energy requirements to develop locally sustainable sources of biomass fuel. The four-county Chariton Valley RC&D area (Lucas, Wayne, Appanoose and Monroe counties) is the site of one of eleven NREL/EPRI feasibility studies directed at the potential of biomass power. The focus of renewable energy development in the region has centered around the use of swithgrass (Panicum virgatum, L.). This native Iowa grass is one of the most promising sustainable biomass fuel crops. According to investigations by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), switchgrass has the most potential of all the perennial grasses and legumes evaluated for biomass production.

  3. Valorization of agroforest crops for biomass utilization. Editorial Note

    OpenAIRE

    Río Andrade, José Carlos del

    2010-01-01

    Editorial Note. Special issue on "Valorization of Agroforest Crops for Biomass Utilization", The Open Agriculture Journal. José C. del Río (Guest Editor) Department of Plant Biotechnology Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville (IRNAS-CSIC) Seville, Spain E-mail:

  4. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  5. 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.

  6. Evaluation of biomass quality of selected woody species depending on the soil enrichment practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolarski, Mariusz J.; Krzyżaniak, Michał; Załuski, Dariusz; Niksa, Dariusz

    2018-01-01

    Perennial energy crops are a source of the bio-mass used to generate energy. The aim of this study was to determine the chemical and thermophysical parameters of short rotation woody crops (black locust, poplar and willow), depending on soil enrichment practice (mineral fertilisation, lignin and mycorrhiza), in three- and four-year harvest cycles. In the study, the thermophysical properties and elemental composition of the biomass were determined. All analyses were performed in trip-licate according to the standards. The fresh black locust biomass had the lowest moisture content, which resulted in the best lower heating value (10.16 MJ kg-1, on average) in the four-year harvest cycle. The poplar biomass had the greatest higher heating value, fixed carbon, carbon and ash content, the highest concentrations of which were found in the biomass in which lignin was applied (2.00% d.m.). On the other hand, the willow biomass contained the lowest concentrations of ash and fixed carbon. Soil enrichment significantly differentiated the quality parameters of black locust, poplar and willow. This effect is of particular importance to those who grow and use biomass as a fuel.

  7. 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)

  8. Estimating Biomass of Barley Using Crop Surface Models (CSMs Derived from UAV-Based RGB Imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Bendig

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Crop monitoring is important in precision agriculture. Estimating above-ground biomass helps to monitor crop vitality and to predict yield. In this study, we estimated fresh and dry biomass on a summer barley test site with 18 cultivars and two nitrogen (N-treatments using the plant height (PH from crop surface models (CSMs. The super-high resolution, multi-temporal (1 cm/pixel CSMs were derived from red, green, blue (RGB images captured from a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV. Comparison with PH reference measurements yielded an R2 of 0.92. The test site with different cultivars and treatments was monitored during “Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt und CHemische Industrie” (BBCH Stages 24–89. A high correlation was found between PH from CSMs and fresh biomass (R2 = 0.81 and dry biomass (R2 = 0.82. Five models for above-ground fresh and dry biomass estimation were tested by cross-validation. Modelling biomass between different N-treatments for fresh biomass produced the best results (R2 = 0.71. The main limitation was the influence of lodging cultivars in the later growth stages, producing irregular plant heights. The method has potential for future application by non-professionals, i.e., farmers.

  9. 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

  10. Proximate composition of CELSS crops grown in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, R. M.; Mackowiak, C. L.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.; Berry, W. L.

    Edible biomass from four crops of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), four crops of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), four crops of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and three crops of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) grown in NASA's CELSS Biomass Production Chamber were analyzed for proximate composition. All plants were grown using recirculating nutrient (hydroponic) film culture with pH and electrical conductivity automatically controlled. Temperature and humidity were controlled to near optimal levels for each species and atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressures were maintained near 100 Pa during the light cycles. Soybean seed contained the highest percentage of protein and fat, potato tubers and wheat seed contained the highest levels of carbohydrate, and lettuce leaves contained the highest level of ash. Analyses showed values close to data published for field-grown plants with several exceptions: In comparison with field-grown plants, wheat seed had higher protein levels; soybean seed had higher ash and crude fiber levels; and potato tubers and lettuce leaves had higher protein and ash levels. The higher ash and protein levels may have been a result of the continuous supply of nutrients (e.g., potassium and nitrogen) to the plants by the recirculating hydroponic culture.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Economics of herbaceous bioenergy crops for electricity generation: Implications for greenhouse gas mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khanna, M.; Onal, H.; Dhungana, B.; Wander, M. [University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Urbana, IL (United States)

    2011-04-15

    This paper examines the optimal land allocation for two perennial crops, switchgrass and miscanthus that can be co-fired with coal for electricity generation. Detailed spatial data at county level is used to determine the costs of producing and transporting biomass to power plants in Illinois over a 15-year period. A supply curve for bioenergy is generated at various levels of bioenergy subsidies and the implications of production for farm income and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are analyzed. GHG emissions are estimated using lifecycle analysis and include the soil carbon sequestered by perennial grasses and the carbon emissions displaced by these grasses due to both conversion of land from row crops and co-firing the grasses with coal. We find that the conversion of less than 2% of the cropland to bioenergy crops could produce 5.5% of the electricity generated by coal-fired power plants in Illinois and reduce carbon emissions by 11% over the 15-year period. However, the cost of energy from biomass in Illinois is more than twice as high as that of coal. Costly government subsidies for bioenergy or mandates in the form of Renewable Portfolio Standards would be needed to induce the production and use of bioenergy for electricity generation. Alternatively, a modest price for GHG emissions under a cap-and-trade policy could make bioenergy competitive with coal without imposing a fiscal burden on the government.

  14. Progress and Bottlenecks in the Early Domestication of the Perennial Oilseed Silphium integrifolium, a Sunflower Substitute

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Vilela

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Silflower (Silphium integrifolium Michx. is in the early stages of domestication as a perennial version of oilseed sunflower, its close relative. Grain crops with deep perennial root systems will provide farmers with new alternatives for managing soil moisture and limiting or remediating soil erosion, fertilizer leaching, and loss of soil biota. Several cycles of selection for increased seed production potential following initial germplasm evaluation in 2002 have provided opportunities to document the botany and ecology of this relatively obscure species, to compare agronomic practices for improving its propagation and management, and to evaluate the differences between semi-domesticated and wild accessions that have accrued over this time through intentional and unintentional genetic processes. Key findings include: domestication has increased aboveground biomass at seedling and adult stages; seed yield has increased more, achieving modest improvement in harvest index. Harvest index decreases with nitrogen fertilization. Silflower acquires nitrogen and water from greater depth than typical crops. In agricultural silflower stands within its native range, we found that Puccinia silphii (rust and Eucosma giganteana (moth populations build up to unacceptable levels, but we also found genetic variation for traits contributing to resistance or tolerance. Breeding or management for reduced height and vegetative plasticity should be top priorities for future silflower research outside its native range.

  15. Recycle of Inorganic Nutrients for Hydroponic Crop Production Following Incineration of Inedible Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubenheim, David L.; Wignarajah, Kanapathipillai; Kliss, Mark H. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Recovery of resources from waste streams is essential for future implementation and reliance on a regenerative life support system. The major waste streams of concern are from human activities and plant wastes. Carbon, water and inorganics are the primary desired raw materials of interest. The goal of resource recovery is maintenance of product quality to insure support of reliable and predictable levels of life support function performance by the crop plant component. Further, these systems must be maintained over extended periods of time, requiring maintenance of nutrient solutions to avoid toxicity and deficiencies. Today, reagent grade nutrients are used to make nutrient solutions for hydroponic culture and these solutions are frequently changed during the life cycle or sometimes managed for only one crop life cycle. The focus of this study was to determine the suitability of the ash product following incineration of inedible biomass as a source of inorganic nutrients for hydroponic crop production. Inedible wheat biomass was incinerated and ash quality characterized. The incinerator ash was dissolved in adequate nitric acid to establish a consistent nitrogen concentration in all nutrient solution treatments. Four experimental nutrient treatments were included: control, ash only, ash supplemented to match control, and ash only quality formulated with reagent grade chemicals. When nutrient solutions are formulated using only ash following-incineration of inedible biomass, a balance in solution is established representing elemental retention following incineration and nutrient proportions present in the original biomass. The resulting solution is not identical to the control. This imbalance resulted in suppression of crop growth. When the ash is supplemented with nutrients to establish the same balance as in the control, growth is identical to the control. The ash appears to carry no phytotoxic materials. Growth in solution formulated with reagent grade chemicals

  16. Bioestadística en cultivos Perennes Biostatistics in Perennial crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martínez B. Ricardo

    1989-12-01

    varios períodos de tiempo sobre las mismas plantas. El análisis estadístico debe tener en cuenta esto y por lo tanto se sugieren algunos métodos de trabajo.Perennial crops live longer than annual crops, and since they are likely to be larger, experiments with them face special problems. The experiments often taken several years, so the plants are at risk longer, increasing the likelihood of mishap and thus unbalanced data, so greater caution is needed in making plants about them. The experimental design must be able to tolerate the inevitable missing data. Whatever design is used, it must be throughly practicable, for it is no use producing a scheme on paper that will give endless trouble in the field. Experimental objetives may change over time, requiring modification of the original study plan. It is better simple experimental design than complex ones, these are inflexible and are seriously undermined by missing data in both computation and interpretation. Since perennials are in general larger than annuals are of greater interest as individuals, and will probably use single.plant or several
    plant plots, and environmental variation in rarely of sole importance. With perennials the experimenter should not assume de error variation as positional, Le envirenmental,
    some of it may well derive from the plants themselves.
    Attempting to reduce error variance by merely increasing replicationwithin a standar design may not be satisfactory, The analysis of covariance has proven to be very effective
    alternative in many cases, after reducing de error variance by 25.50%. The data will probably include several observations collected over time on the same plant. The statistical analysis must take this into account, and several possible methods
    are suggested.

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. High quality reference genome of drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.), a potential perennial crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yang; Zeng, Yan; Zhang, Jing; Yang, ChengGuang; Yan, Liang; Wang, XuanJun; Shi, ChongYing; Xie, Jing; Dai, TianYi; Peng, Lei; Zeng Huan, Yu; Xu, AnNi; Huang, YeWei; Zhang, JiaJin; Ma, Xiao; Dong, Yang; Hao, ShuMei; Sheng, Jun

    2015-07-01

    The drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.) is a perennial crop that has gained popularity in certain developing countries for its high-nutrition content and adaptability to arid and semi-arid environments. Here we report a high-quality draft genome sequence of M. oleifera. This assembly represents 91.78% of the estimated genome size and contains 19,465 protein-coding genes. Comparative genomic analysis between M. oleifera and related woody plant genomes helps clarify the general evolution of this species, while the identification of several species-specific gene families and positively selected genes in M. oleifera may help identify genes related to M. oleifera's high protein content, fast-growth, heat and stress tolerance. This reference genome greatly extends the basic research on M. oleifera, and may further promote applying genomics to enhanced breeding and improvement of M. oleifera.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of Cover Crops to Offset Soil Carbon Changes Under No-till on an Ohio farm when Biomass is Harvested

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimble, J. M.; Everett, L. R.; Richards, W.

    2003-12-01

    The results of a long term experiment to look at the use of cover crops and there effect on soil organic carbon. No-till has been shown to increase SOC and improve the overall soil quality under conditions where the biomass has been returned to the field. However, biomass may be removed as silage or for use in biofuels. The removal will reduce the inputs to the field so to overcome the amount of biomass not returned to the soil different cover crops were used. This experiment was done on a working farm where the corn biomass was being removed as silage. Four cover crops were planted in early September of 2002: rye, oats, clover, and canola with two controls, one with no cover crop and one where corn stubble was left on the field. The soils were sampled soon after the crops were planted and again in the spring of 2003 before the cover crops were killed just prior to planting. The first results indicate that the most root biomass was produced by the rye followed by oats then canola and then clover.

  3. 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.

  4. Changing Land Use from Cotton to Bioenergy Crops in the Southern Great Plains: Implications on Carbon and Water Vapor Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, N.; Sharma, S.

    2016-12-01

    We are facing an unprecedented challenge in securing America's energy future. To address this challenge, increased biofuel crop production is needed. Although first-generation biofuels like corn ethanol are available, second-generation biofuels are gaining importance because they don't directly compete with food production. Second-generation biofuels are made from the by-products of intensive agriculture or from less-intensive agriculture on more marginal lands. The Southwestern U.S. Cotton Belt can play a significant role in this effort through a change from more conventional crops (like continuous cotton) to second-generation biofuel feedstocks (biomass sorghum and perennial grasses). While we believe there would be environmental benefits associated with this change in land use, their exact nature and magnitude have not been investigated for this region. The overall goal of the proposed study was to investigate the water and carbon (C) fluxes associated with the change in agricultural land use to biofuels-dominated cropping systems in the semi-arid Southwestern U.S. Cotton Belt region. Eddy covariance flux towers were established at selected producer fields (cotton, perennial grasses and biomass sorghum) in the Southern Great Plains region. The fluxes of carbon dioxide, water vapor and sensible heat between the surface and the atmosphere will be measured throughout the year. The results have demonstrated that the dynamics of C and water vapor fluxes for these agroecosystems were strongly affected by environmental variables, management factors, and crop phenology. Detailed results will be presented at the meeting.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Transgenic perennial biofuel feedstocks and strategies for bioconfinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of transgenic tools for the improvement of plant feedstocks will be required to realize the full economic and environmental benefits of cellulosic and other biofuels, particularly from perennial plants. Traits that are targets for improvement of biofuels crops include he...

  8. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of elevated temperatures and drought on constructed oak savannahs were studied to determine the interactive effects of potentially invasive feral biofuel species and climate change on native grassland communities. A total of 12 sunlit mesocosm were used. Each mesocosm held three tubs. One had six native plant species; one had five native species with the annual crop Sorghum bicolor and one had five native species along with the weedy perennial Sorghum halepense. The experimental treatments were ambient (control), elevated temperature, drought, or a combination of elevated temperature and drought. Total aboveground biomass of the community was greatest in the control and drought treatments, lowest with elevated temperature + drought, and intermediate in high temperature treatments (Pbacterial biomass. Active bacterial biomass was lowest in the drought and elevated temperature and drought treatments (P<0.05). Active soil fungal biomass was highest in the tubs containing S. bicolor. Percent total carbon in the soil increased between 2010 and 2011 (P=0.0054); it was lowest in the elevated temperature and drought mesocosms (P<0.05). Longer term studi

  9. Long-term evaluation of biomass production and quality of two cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) cultivars for energy use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Angelini, Luciana G.; Ceccarini, Lucia; Nassi o Di Nasso, Nicoletta [University of Pisa, Dipartimento di Agronomia e Gestione dell' Agroecosistema, Via S. Michele degli Scalzi, 2, 56100 Pisa (Italy); Bonari, Enrico [Scuola Sant' Anna, Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33, 56100 Pisa (Italy)

    2009-05-15

    Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is an herbaceous species indicated as one of the most suitable energy crop for southern European countries. The aim of this work was to outline the productivity of two cardoon cultivars, Bianco Avorio (BA) and Gigante di Romagna (GR), over 11 years of cultivation in rain fed field conditions in the temperate climate of Central Italy. The quantitative and qualitative aspects of its biomass (calorific value, ultimate and proximate analyses, ash composition) as well as its energy balance (energy efficiency, net energy yield) have been determined. Crop dry yield was not different between the two cultivars and it was rather stable with a mean value (averaged from year 3 to 11) of 14 and 13 t ha{sup -1} for GR and BA respectively. Furthermore the biomass dry matter content was higher in BA than GR (51% vs 42%). The chemical analysis of cardoon biomass showed a similar composition in both cultivars with good calorific value (15 MJ kg{sup -1}) but with an ash content (13.9% d.w.) higher than other herbaceous energy crops. The total energy input was higher in the establishing than in the following years, however from the planting year onward, both cardoon crops were characterised by a positive energy balance. Even if its mean net energy is lower than other perennial energy crops (182 GJ ha{sup -1} year{sup -1}), cardoon can be easily propagated by seed with important advantages for crop management and production costs. The results confirmed cardoon's good biomass yield and favourable energy balance even in cultivation systems characterised by limited water input. Moreover future works are necessary in order to improve cardoon biomass quality and to evaluate the possibility of using it in blends with other biomass sources. (author)

  10. Long-term evaluation of biomass production and quality of two cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) cultivars for energy use

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angelini, Luciana G.; Ceccarini, Lucia; Nassi o Di Nasso, Nicoletta; Bonari, Enrico

    2009-01-01

    Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is an herbaceous species indicated as one of the most suitable energy crop for southern European countries. The aim of this work was to outline the productivity of two cardoon cultivars, Bianco Avorio (BA) and Gigante di Romagna (GR), over 11 years of cultivation in rain fed field conditions in the temperate climate of Central Italy. The quantitative and qualitative aspects of its biomass (calorific value, ultimate and proximate analyses, ash composition) as well as its energy balance (energy efficiency, net energy yield) have been determined. Crop dry yield was not different between the two cultivars and it was rather stable with a mean value (averaged from year 3 to 11) of 14 and 13 t ha -1 for GR and BA respectively. Furthermore the biomass dry matter content was higher in BA than GR (51% vs 42%). The chemical analysis of cardoon biomass showed a similar composition in both cultivars with good calorific value (15 MJ kg -1 ) but with an ash content (13.9% d.w.) higher than other herbaceous energy crops. The total energy input was higher in the establishing than in the following years, however from the planting year onward, both cardoon crops were characterised by a positive energy balance. Even if its mean net energy is lower than other perennial energy crops (182 GJ ha -1 year -1 ), cardoon can be easily propagated by seed with important advantages for crop management and production costs. The results confirmed cardoon's good biomass yield and favourable energy balance even in cultivation systems characterised by limited water input. Moreover future works are necessary in order to improve cardoon biomass quality and to evaluate the possibility of using it in blends with other biomass sources.

  11. Impact of cash cropping and perennial crops on food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    significant effects on food crop production and productivity. ... 2 Department of Economics and Resource management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway ... food markets work well, the problem of imperfect markets does not allow ..... prices at the time of purchase with the remaining balance due at the end of the.

  12. Linking resilience theory and diffusion of innovations theory to understand the potential for perennials in the U.S. Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan C. Atwell; Lisa A. Schulte; Lynne M. Westphal

    2009-01-01

    In the last 200 yr, more than 80% of the land in the U.S. Corn Belt agro-ecosystem has been converted from natural perennial vegetation to intensive agricultural production of row crops. Despite research showing how re-integration of perennial vegetation, e.g., cover crops, pasture, riparian buffers, and restored wetlands, at strategic landscape positions can bolster...

  13. Validation of reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR studies of gene expression in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thrush Anthony

    2010-01-01

    , helping pave the way to conduct gene expression studies in perennial biomass crops under field-conditions. From our study several stably expressed reference genes have been validated. This provides useful candidates for reference gene selection in perennial ryegrass under conditions other than those tested here.

  14. Effects of fertility, weed density and crop competition on biomass partitioning in Centaurea cyanus L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Łukasz Chachulski

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The influence of environmental factors on biomass partitioning of annual arable weed Centaurea cyanus was analysed. We investigated the effect of fertilisation, density and competition with the winter rye crop on the reproductive investment. Three fertiliser treatments and three density levels were applied. In Centaurea cyanus differences in the pattern of biomass allocation to reproduction are related to plant size. The relationship between reproductive and vegetative mass is close to linear. It is consistent with the model of linear size-dependent reproductive output. In Centaurea cyanus this model worked well for size differences that have been generated by interspecific competition, nutrients supply and density. Our data support the hypothesis that plastic changes in relationship between vegetative and generative biomass are environmentally-induced. Significantly different relationship between vegetative and reproductive biomass were detected among populations growing at different density and fertility levels. The fertilisation with mineral fertiliser and manure resulted in an increase of generative biomass allocated to flowerheads and a decrease of reproductive effort. Generative dry weight increased more rapidly with plant size in higher densities of population and at lower fertility levels. The experiment showed that the rate of weight allocated to reproductive structures was bigger under the pressure of competition with cereal crop. At low fertility level and high density, when the individuals were small, generative biomass increased faster with plant size. The production of seeds was not directly dependent on biomass allocated into total reproductive structures. At low level, of nutrient supply C. cyanus gave more offspring per gram of its biomass. We discuss the results in context of life-history theory. From the strategic point of view, size-dependent variation in reproductive effort and in efficiency of reproduction can be

  15. Biomass accumulation and chemical composition of Massai grass intercropped with forage legumes on an integrated crop-livestock-forest system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana da Costa Moreno Gama

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective was to evaluate the use of woody legumes (Albizia lebbeck, Cratylia argentea, Dipteryx Allata (Baru, a Leucaena hybrid (L. leucocephala + L. diversifolia, and Leucaena leucocephalacv. Cunningham and herbaceous legumes (Arachis pintoi intercropped with Panicum maximum cv. Massai, simultaneously implanted in a maize crop. The study made use of a randomized block experimental design with four replications. Assessments of biomass accumulation and forage nutritional value were made after the maize harvest, between June 2008 and October 2010. It was found that the residues of maize provided better growing conditions for Massai grass during the dry season. L. leucocephala cv. Cunningham and the Leucaena hybrid had the highest accumulation of all forage legumes evaluated, and provided the best nutritional value of all the arrangements tested. Of all woody legumes tested in this system, Leucaena was considered feasible for intercropping with Massai grass. The intercrop of perennial woody Baru with maize is not recommended. Albizia lebbeck and Cratylia argentea require further study, especially the yield assessment at different cutting intervals and cutting heights. Arachis pintoi had a low participation in the intercropping, showing greater performance over time, indicating slow thriving in this experimental condition.

  16. Rethinking Bioenergy from an Agricultural Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shortall, Orla

    The aim of this project is to explore the social and ethical dimensions of the agricultural production of perennial energy crop and crop residues for energy. Biomass – any living or recently living matter – is being promoted in industrialised countries as part of the transition from fossil fuels...... agriculture including the biorefinery strategy; multifunctional perennial energy crop production on environmentally marginal land; and ecologically integrated multipurpose biomass production through agroforestry production. There is also an argument which cuts across the paradigms and maintains...

  17. 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.

  18. Landscape ecological planning: Integrating land use and wildlife conservation for biomass crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schiller, A.

    1995-12-31

    What do a mussel shoat, a zoo, and a biomass plantation have in common? Each can benefit from ecology-based landscape planning. This paper provides examples of landscape ecological planning from some diverse projects the author has worked on, and discusses how processes employed and lessons learned from these projects are being used to help answer questions about the effects of biomass plantings (hardwood tree crops and native grasses) on wildlife habitat. Biomass environmental research is being designed to assess how plantings of different acreage, composition and landscape context affect wildlife habitat value, and is addressing the cumulative effect on wildlife habitat of establishing multiple biomass plantations across the landscape. Through landscape ecological planning, answers gleaned from research can also help guide biomass planting site selection and harvest strategies to improve habitat for native wildlife species within the context of economically viable plantation management - thereby integrating the needs of people with those of the environment.

  19. Relationships between Fungal Biomass and Nitrous Oxide Emission in Upland Rice Soils under No Tillage and Cover Cropping Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhaorigetu; Komatsuzaki, Masakazu; Sato, Yoshinori; Ohta, Hiroyuki

    2008-01-01

    The relationships between soil microbial properties and nitrous oxide emission were examined in upland soil under different tillage systems [no tillage (NT), rotary and plow tillage] and cover crop systems (fallow, cereal rye, and hairy vetch) in 2004 and 2005. Microbiological analyses included the determination of soil ergosterol as an indicator of fungal biomass, bacterial plate counting, and MPN estimations of ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers. The combined practice of NT with rye-cover crop treatment increased fungal biomass but not bacterial populations in 0-10 cm deep soils. Such increase in fungal biomass was not found in 10-20 cm and 20-30 cm deep cover-cropped NT soil. The combined practice of NT with rye-cover cropping resulted in higher in situ N(2)O emission rates compared with rotary- and plow-till treatments. N(2)O flux was positively correlated with soil ergosterol content but not with denitrifier MPN and other soil chemical properties. These results suggested a significant contribution of fungi to N(2)O emission in cover-cropped NT soils.

  20. Nitrogen research for perennial crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowen, G.D.; Danso, S.K.A.

    1987-01-01

    The article describes the role of trees in restoring and maintaining soil fertility. Cropping systems that include trees can provide the ecological framework within which food, fuelwood, and fibre production can be intergrated. The IAEA has been actively involved in studies on nitrogen-fixing pasture legumes and is ready to embark on similar studies of trees. 1 tab

  1. Simulating the partitioning of biomass and nitrogen between roots and shoot in crop and grass plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yin, X.; Schapendonk, A.H.C.M.

    2004-01-01

    Quantification of the assimilate partitioning between roots and shoot has been one of the components that need improvement in crop growth models. In this study we derived two equations for root-shoot partitioning of biomass and nitrogen (N) that hold for crops grown under steady-state conditions.

  2. Environmental impacts of biomass energy resource production and utilization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Easterly, J L; Dunn, S M [DynCorp, Alexandria, VA (United States)

    1995-12-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad overview of the environmental impacts associated with the production, conversion and utilization of biomass energy resources and compare them with the impacts of conventional fuels. The use of sustainable biomass resources can play an important role in helping developing nations meet their rapidly growing energy needs, while providing significant environmental advantages over the use of fossil fuels. Two of the most important environmental benefits biomass energy offers are reduced net emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO{sub 2}, and reduced emissions of SO{sub 2}, the primary contributor to acid rain. The paper also addresses the environmental impacts of supplying a range of specific biomass resources, including forest-based resources, numerous types of biomass residues and energy crops. Some of the benefits offered by the various biomass supplies include support for improved forest management, improved waste management, reduced air emissions (by eliminating the need for open-field burning of residues) and reduced soil erosion (for example, where perennial energy crops are planted on degraded or deforested land). The environmental impacts of a range of biomass conversion technologies are also addressed, including those from the thermochemical processing of biomass (including direct combustion in residential wood stoves and industrial-scale boilers, gasification and pyrolysis); biochemical processing (anaerobic digestion and fermentation); and chemical processing (extraction of organic oils). In addition to reducing CO{sub 2} and SO{sub 2}, other environmental benefits of biomass conversion technologies include the distinctly lower toxicity of the ash compared to coal ash, reduced odours and pathogens from manure, reduced vehicle emissions of CO{sub 2}, with the use of ethanol fuel blends, and reduced particulate and hydrocarbon emissions where biodiesel is used as a substitute for diesel fuel. In general

  3. Environmental impacts of biomass energy resource production and utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Easterly, J.L.; Dunn, S.M.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad overview of the environmental impacts associated with the production, conversion and utilization of biomass energy resources and compare them with the impacts of conventional fuels. The use of sustainable biomass resources can play an important role in helping developing nations meet their rapidly growing energy needs, while providing significant environmental advantages over the use of fossil fuels. Two of the most important environmental benefits biomass energy offers are reduced net emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO 2 , and reduced emissions of SO 2 , the primary contributor to acid rain. The paper also addresses the environmental impacts of supplying a range of specific biomass resources, including forest-based resources, numerous types of biomass residues and energy crops. Some of the benefits offered by the various biomass supplies include support for improved forest management, improved waste management, reduced air emissions (by eliminating the need for open-field burning of residues) and reduced soil erosion (for example, where perennial energy crops are planted on degraded or deforested land). The environmental impacts of a range of biomass conversion technologies are also addressed, including those from the thermochemical processing of biomass (including direct combustion in residential wood stoves and industrial-scale boilers, gasification and pyrolysis); biochemical processing (anaerobic digestion and fermentation); and chemical processing (extraction of organic oils). In addition to reducing CO 2 and SO 2 , other environmental benefits of biomass conversion technologies include the distinctly lower toxicity of the ash compared to coal ash, reduced odours and pathogens from manure, reduced vehicle emissions of CO 2 , with the use of ethanol fuel blends, and reduced particulate and hydrocarbon emissions where biodiesel is used as a substitute for diesel fuel. In general, the key elements for

  4. Distribution, utilization structure and potential of biomass resources in rural China: With special references of crop residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, H [Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093 (China); Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Jiang, G M [Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093 (China); Agronomy Department, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai' an 271018, Shandong Province (China); Zhuang, H Y [National Bio-Energy CO., LTD, No. 26B, Financial Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100032 (China); Shandong Academy of Sciences, No. 19, Keyuan Road, Ji' nan 250014, Shandong Province (China); Wang, K J [Agronomy Department, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai' an 271018, Shandong Province (China)

    2008-06-15

    As the largest developing country in the world, China is urgently in short of energy and natural resources. However, biological resources such as crop residues are burnt in the field, which cause serious environmental pollution. Still it is not clear how much storage and potential of these huge crop residues are in China. This paper firstly reported the distribution, utilization structure and potential of crop biomass and provided the tangible information of crop residues in rural China through careful collecting and recalculating data. From 1995 to 2005, China produces some 630 million tons of crop residues per year, 50% of which comes from east and central south of China. The amount of crop residues is 1.3 times of the total yield of crops, 2 times of the total fodder of grassland, which covers 41% of China's territory. Crop residues of corn, wheat and rice amounted to 239, 137 and 116 million tons, respectively, accounting for nearly 80% of the total crop residues. Unfortunately, the utilizing structure is seriously improper for such abundant biomass resources. Although 23% of the crop residues are used for forage, 4% for industry materials and 0.5% for biogas, the large parts are used with lower efficiency or wasted, with 37% being directly combusted by farmers, 15% lost during collection and the rest 20.5% discarded or directly burnt in the field. Reasonable adjustment of the utilizing pattern and popularization of the recycling agriculture are essential out-ways for residues, with the development of the forage industry being the breakthrough point. We suggested that utilizing the abandoned 20.5% of the total residues for forage and combining agriculture and stock raising can greatly improve the farm system and cut down fertilizer pollution. Through the development of forage industries, the use efficiency of crop residues could be largely enhanced. Commercializing and popularizing technologies of biomass gasification and liquefaction might be substitute

  5. Simulation of biomass yield of regular and chilling tolerant Miscanthus cultivars and reed canary grass in different climates of Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kandel, Tanka Prasad; Hastings, Astley; Jørgensen, Uffe

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus and reed canary grass (RCG) are C4 and C3 perennial grasses which are popular in Europe as energy crops. Although Miscanthus is relatively chilling tolerant compared to other C4 species, its production in northern Europe is still constrained by cold temperature. A more chilling tolerant...... Miscanthus cultivar which can emerge early in the spring would utilize more solar radiation and produce higher biomass yields. In this study, using MiscanFor model, we estimated potential biomass yield of Miscanthus in current and future climates with the assumption that breeding would provide a chilling...

  6. 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...

  7. Effects of Seasonal and Perennial Grazing on Soil Fauna Community and Microbial Biomass Carbon in the Subalpine Meadows of Yunnan, Southwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Shengjie; YANG Xiaodong; Anthony R.IVES; FENG Zhili; SHA Liqing

    2017-01-01

    Grazing and over-grazing may drive changes in the diversity and functioning of below-ground meadow ecosystems.A field soil survey was conducted to compare microbial biomass carbon (Cmin) and soil fauna communities in the two main grassland management systems in subalpine regions of Yunnan Province,China:perennial grazing currently practiced due to increasing herd sizes and traditional seasonal grazing.A three-year exclosure experiment was then conducted to further compare the effects of different grazing practices,including treatments of no mowing,perennial grazing (NM + G),mowing followed by seasonal grazing (M + G),mowing and no grazing (M + NG),and no mowing or grazing (NM + NG).The comparative survey result revealed that Cmin and total density of soil fauna were significantly lower at a perennially grazed site than at a seasonally grazed site.The experiment results showed that in comparison to non-grazing treatments (M + NG and NM + NG),grazing (NM + G and M + G) reduced total fauna density (by 150 individuals m-2) and the number of taxonomic groups present (by 0.32 taxa m-2).Mowing decreased Cmin (by 0.31 mg g-1).Furthermore,the NM + G treatment (perennial grazing) had the lowest density of Collembola (16.24 individuals m-2),one of the two most common taxonomic groups,although other taxonomic groups responded differently to the treatments.Treatment effects on soil fauna were consistent with those on above-ground grasses,in which C:N ratios were greatly reduced by grazing,with this effect being the greatest for the NM + G treatment.In contrast,different grazing treatments had little effect on C:N ratio of soil.Furthermore,the traditional grazing method (mowing followed by seasonal grazing) may have less severe effects on some taxonomic groups than perennial grazing.Therefore,an appropriate management should aim to protect soil fauna and microbes in this area from over-grazing and against further degradation.

  8. Standing crop and aboveground biomass partitioning of a dwarf mangrove forest in Taylor River Slough, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coronado-Molina, C.; Day, J.W.; Reyes, E.; Perez, B.C.

    2004-01-01

    The structure and standing crop biomass of a dwarf mangrove forest, located in the salinity transition zone ofTaylor River Slough in the Everglades National Park, were studied. Although the four mangrove species reported for Florida occurred at the study site, dwarf Rhizophora mangle trees dominated the forest. The structural characteristics of the mangrove forest were relatively simple: tree height varied from 0.9 to 1.2 meters, and tree density ranged from 7062 to 23 778 stems haa??1. An allometric relationship was developed to estimate leaf, branch, prop root, and total aboveground biomass of dwarf Rhizophora mangle trees. Total aboveground biomass and their components were best estimated as a power function of the crown area times number of prop roots as an independent variable (Y = B ?? Xa??0.5083). The allometric equation for each tree component was highly significant (pRhizophora mangle contributed 85% of total standing crop biomass. Conocarpus erectus, Laguncularia racemosa, and Avicennia germinans contributed the remaining biomass. Average aboveground biomass allocation was 69% for prop roots, 25% for stem and branches, and 6% for leaves. This aboveground biomass partitioning pattern, which gives a major role to prop roots that have the potential to produce an extensive root system, may be an important biological strategy in response to low phosphorus availability and relatively reduced soils that characterize mangrove forests in South Florida.

  9. Development and Deployment of a Short Rotation Woody Crops Harvesting System Based on a Case New Holland Forage Harvester and SRC Woody Crop Header

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eisenbies, Mark [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Volk, Timothy [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Abrahamson, Lawrence [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Shuren, Richard [GreenWood Resources, Inc., Portland, OR (United States); Stanton, Brian [GreenWood Resources, Inc., Portland, OR (United States); Posselius, John [Case New Holland, New Holland, PA (United States); McArdle, Matt [Mesa Reduction Engineering and Processing, Inc., Auburn, NY (United States); Karapetyan, Samvel [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Patel, Aayushi [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Shi, Shun [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Zerpa, Jose [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States)

    2014-10-03

    Biomass for biofuels, bioproducts and bioenergy can be sourced from forests, agricultural crops, various residue streams, and dedicated woody or herbaceous crops. Short rotation woody crops (SRWC), like willow and hybrid poplar, are perennial cropping systems that produce a number of environmental and economic development benefits in addition to being a renewable source of biomass that can be produced on marginal land. Both hybrid poplar and willow have several characteristics that make them an ideal feedstock for biofuels, bioproducts, and bioenergy; these include high yields that can be obtained in three to four years, ease of cultivar propagation from dormant cuttings, a broad underutilized genetic base, ease of breeding, ability to resprout after multiple harvests, and feedstock composition similar to other sources of woody biomass. Despite the range of benefits associated with SRWC systems, their deployment has been restricted by high costs, low market acceptance associated with inconsistent chip quality (see below for further explanation), and misperceptions about other feedstock characteristics (see below for further explanation). Harvesting of SRWC is the largest single cost factor (~1/3 of the final delivered cost) in the feedstock supply system. Harvesting is also the second largest input of primary fossil energy in the system after commercial N fertilizer, accounting for about one third of the input. Therefore, improving the efficiency of the harvesting system has the potential to reduce both cost and environmental impact. At the start of this project, we projected that improving the overall efficiency of the harvesting system by 25% would reduce the delivered cost of SRWC by approximately $0.50/MMBtu (or about $7.50/dry ton). This goal was exceeded over the duration of this project, as noted below.

  10. 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

  11. Soil carbon under perennial pastures; benchmarking the influence of pasture age and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgill, Susan E.; Spoljaric, Nancy; Kelly, Georgina

    2015-07-01

    This paper reports baseline soil carbon stocks from a field survey of 19 sites; 8 pairs/triplet in the Monaro region of New South Wales. Site comparisons were selected by the Monaro Farming Systems group to demonstrate the influence of land management on soil carbon, and included: nutrient management, liming, pasture age and cropping history. Soil carbon stocks varied with parent material and with land management. The fertilised (phosphorus) native perennial pasture had a greater stock of soil carbon compared with the unfertilised site; 46.8 vs 40.4 Mg.C.ha to 0.50 m. However, the introduced perennial pasture which had been limed had a lower stock of soil carbon compared with the unlimed site; 62.8 vs 66.7 Mg.C.ha to 0.50 m. There was a greater stock of soil carbon under two of the three younger (35 yr old) pastures. Cropped sites did not have lower soil carbon stocks at all sites; however, this survey was conducted after three years of above average annual rainfall and most sites had been cropped for less than three years. At all sites more than 20% of the total carbon stock to 0.50 m was in the 0.30 to 0.50 m soil layer highlighting the importance of considering this soil layer when investigating the implications of land management on soil carbon. Our baseline data indicates that nutrient management may increase soil carbon under perennial pastures and highlights the importance of perennial pastures for soil carbon sequestration regardless of age.

  12. Evaluating the relationship between biomass, percent groundcover and remote sensing indices across six winter cover crop fields in Maryland, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhakara, Kusuma; Hively, W. Dean; McCarty, Gregory W.

    2015-07-01

    Winter cover crops are an essential part of managing nutrient and sediment losses from agricultural lands. Cover crops lessen sedimentation by reducing erosion, and the accumulation of nitrogen in aboveground biomass results in reduced nutrient runoff. Winter cover crops are planted in the fall and are usually terminated in early spring, making them susceptible to senescence, frost burn, and leaf yellowing due to wintertime conditions. This study sought to determine to what extent remote sensing indices are capable of accurately estimating the percent groundcover and biomass of winter cover crops, and to analyze under what critical ranges these relationships are strong and under which conditions they break down. Cover crop growth on six fields planted to barley, rye, ryegrass, triticale or wheat was measured over the 2012-2013 winter growing season. Data collection included spectral reflectance measurements, aboveground biomass, and percent groundcover. Ten vegetation indices were evaluated using surface reflectance data from a 16-band CROPSCAN sensor. Restricting analysis to sampling dates before the onset of prolonged freezing temperatures and leaf yellowing resulted in increased estimation accuracy. There was a strong relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and percent groundcover (r2 = 0.93) suggesting that date restrictions effectively eliminate yellowing vegetation from analysis. The triangular vegetation index (TVI) was most accurate in estimating high ranges of biomass (r2 = 0.86), while NDVI did not experience a clustering of values in the low and medium biomass ranges but saturated in the higher range (>1500 kg/ha). The results of this study show that accounting for index saturation, senescence, and frost burn on leaves can greatly increase the accuracy of estimates of percent groundcover and biomass for winter cover crops.

  13. Biomass and nitrogen accumulation of hairy vetch-cereal rye cover crop mixtures as influenced by species proportions

    Science.gov (United States)

    The performance and suitability of a legume-grass cover crop mixture for specific functions may be influenced by the proportions of each species in the mixture. The objectives of this study were to: 1) evaluate aboveground biomass and species biomass proportions at different hairy vetch (Vicia villo...

  14. 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)

  15. Overestimation of Crop Root Biomass in Field Experiments Due to Extraneous Organic Matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirte, Juliane; Leifeld, Jens; Abiven, Samuel; Oberholzer, Hans-Rudolf; Hammelehle, Andreas; Mayer, Jochen

    2017-01-01

    Root biomass is one of the most relevant root parameters for studies of plant response to environmental change, soil carbon modeling or estimations of soil carbon sequestration. A major source of error in root biomass quantification of agricultural crops in the field is the presence of extraneous organic matter in soil: dead roots from previous crops, weed roots, incorporated above ground plant residues and organic soil amendments, or remnants of soil fauna. Using the isotopic difference between recent maize root biomass and predominantly C3-derived extraneous organic matter, we determined the proportions of maize root biomass carbon of total carbon in root samples from the Swiss long-term field trial "DOK." We additionally evaluated the effects of agricultural management (bio-organic and conventional), sampling depth (0-0.25, 0.25-0.5, 0.5-0.75 m) and position (within and between maize rows), and root size class (coarse and fine roots) as defined by sieve mesh size (2 and 0.5 mm) on those proportions, and quantified the success rate of manual exclusion of extraneous organic matter from root samples. Only 60% of the root mass that we retrieved from field soil cores was actual maize root biomass from the current season. While the proportions of maize root biomass carbon were not affected by agricultural management, they increased consistently with soil depth, were higher within than between maize rows, and were higher in coarse (>2 mm) than in fine (≤2 and >0.5) root samples. The success rate of manual exclusion of extraneous organic matter from root samples was related to agricultural management and, at best, about 60%. We assume that the composition of extraneous organic matter is strongly influenced by agricultural management and soil depth and governs the effect size of the investigated factors. Extraneous organic matter may result in severe overestimation of recovered root biomass and has, therefore, large implications for soil carbon modeling and estimations

  16. Cultivar by environment effects of perennial ryegrass cultivars selected for high water soluble carbohydrates managed under differing precipitation levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Historic results of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) breeding include improved disease resistance, biomass, and nutritional quality. Yet, lack of tolerance to water stress limits its wise use. Recent efforts to increase water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) content in perennial ryegrass may incre...

  17. Fusarium-induced diseases of tropical, perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploetz, Randy C

    2006-06-01

    ABSTRACT The world's oldest ecosystems are found in the tropics. They are diverse, highly evolved, but barely understood. This and subsequent papers describe diseases of tropical, perennial plants that are caused by Fusarium spp. Many of these are economically significant, difficult to manage, and of scientific interest. Some represent coevolved patho-systems (e.g., Panama disease, tracheomycosis of coffee, fusariosis of pineapple, and Fusarium wilt of oil palm), whereas others may be new-encounter diseases or are caused by generalist pathogens (cushion gall of cacao). New vector relationships are evident in other pathosystems (e.g., mango malformation), and two or more pathogens have been shown to cause some of the diseases (Panama disease and tracheomycosis of coffee). More work on these pathosystems is warranted as they could reveal much about the evolution of plant pathogens and the important diseases they cause.

  18. Soil microbial biomass under different management and tillage systems of permanent intercropped cover species in an orange orchard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elcio Liborio Balota

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available To mitigate soil erosion and enhance soil fertility in orange plantations, the permanent protection of the inter-rows by cover species has been suggested. The objective of this study was to evaluate alterations in the microbial biomass, due to different soil tillage systems and intercropped cover species between rows of orange trees. The soil of the experimental area previously used as pasture (Brachiaria humidicola was an Ultisol (Typic Paleudult originating from Caiuá sandstone in the northwestern part of the State of Paraná, Brazil. Two soil tillage systems were evaluated: conventional tillage (CT in the entire area and strip tillage (ST (strip width 2 m, in combination with different ground cover management systems. The citrus cultivar 'Pera' orange (Citrus sinensis grafted onto 'Rangpur' lime rootstock was used. Soil samples were collected after five years of treatment from a depth of 0-15 cm, under the tree canopy and in the inter-row, in the following treatments: (1 CT and an annual cover crop with the leguminous species Calopogonium mucunoides; (2 CT and a perennial cover crop with the leguminous peanut Arachis pintoi; (3 CT and an evergreen cover crop with Bahiagrass Paspalum notatum; (4 CT and a cover crop with spontaneous Brachiaria humidicola grass vegetation; and (5 ST and maintenance of the remaining grass (pasture of Brachiaria humidicola. Soil tillage and the different cover species influenced the microbial biomass, both under the tree canopy and in the inter-row. The cultivation of brachiaria increased C and N in the microbial biomass, while bahiagrass increased P in the microbial biomass. The soil microbial biomass was enriched in N and P by the presence of ground cover species and according to the soil P content. The grass species increased C, N and P in the soil microbial biomass from the inter-row more than leguminous species.

  19. Energy from biomass — Some basic physical and related considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gloyne, R. W.

    1983-09-01

    The production of vegetable matter (biomass) by photosynthesis is determined by species and by meteorological factors (especially, but not exclusively, solar radiation). Annual net primary production of land-based biomass corresponds to only about 1/1000 of the intercepted irradiation at ground level, but even so, is 10 times the world's estimated energy needs. The exploitation of this energy potential at any one place is critically influenced by the economic, political and social factors, amongst which are the competition from agriculture (especially food crops), forestry, industrial and urban (including leisure) needs for land and resources. Social factors (e.g. population and population density) also constitute prime influences. Strategies for utilisation range from the cultivation of special energy crops (readily conceivable on the American/ Australasian continents); to the more efficient manipulation of current land-use patterns (including “opportunity” cropping); to the more effective exploitation of biologi cal wastes (e.g. methane from sewage), probably the only immediately practical possibility in any densely populated and highly industrialised country. The spatial pattern of solar irradiation at ground level is complex. In the summer, total daily irradiation in continental high latitudes can exceed that in maritime temperate regions; and this combined with species differences and the almost infinite variety of shape and orientation of plant parts, result in a photosynthetic production of biomass which does not conform completely to a zonal pattern, but in broad terms annual dry matter production varies from a few kg/ha in Arctic Tundra to tens of tonnes in temperate latitudes rising to nearly 100 t/ha for perennial tropical crops. If a species could be developed to grow throughout the year at the current seasonal rate, a yield of 150 t/yr, ha) seems possible.

  20. [Effects of lime-ammonium bicarbonate fumigation and biofertilizer application on Fusarium wilt and biomass of continuous cropping cucumber and watermelon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Zong Zhuan; Sun, Li; Wang, Dong Sheng; Lyu, Na Na; Xue, Chao; Li, Rong; Shen, Qi Rong

    2017-10-01

    In this study, the population size of soil microbes was determined using plate counting method after the application of lime-ammonium bicarbonate and ammonium bicarbonate fumigation. In addition, biofertilizer was applied after soil fumigation and population of Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium wilt disease control efficiency and plant biomass were determined in the cucumber and watermelon continuous cropping soil. The results showed that the population of F. oxysporum in cucumber mono-cropped soil fumigated with lime-ammonium bicarbonate or ammonium bicarbonate was decreased by 95.4% and 71.4%, while that in watermelon mono-cropped soil was decreased by 87.3% and 61.2%, respectively compared with non-fumigated control (CK). Furthermore, the greenhouse experiment showed that biofertilizer application, soil fumigation and crop type showed significant effects on the number of soil F. oxysporum, Fusarium wilt disease incidence, disease control efficiency and plant biomass based on multivariate analysis of variance. In the lime-ammonium bicarbonate fumigated soil amended with biofertilizer (LFB), significant reductions in the numbers of F. oxysporum and Fusarium wilt disease incidence were observed in both cucumber and watermelon cropped soil compared to non-fumigated control soil applied with organic fertilizer. The disease control rate was 91.9% and 92.5% for cucumber and watermelon, respectively. Moreover, LFB also significantly increased the plant height, stem diameter, leaf SPAD, and dry biomass for cucumber and watermelon. It was indicated that biofertilizer application after lime-ammonium bicarbonate fumigation could effectively reduce the abundance of F. oxysporum in soil, control Fusarium wilt disease and improve plant biomass in cucumber and watermelon mono-cropping systems.

  1. The influence of a Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff on the decision to produce biomass crops in Ireland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clancy, D.; Breen, J.P.; Thorne, F.; Wallace, M.

    2012-01-01

    A target of 30 per cent substitution of biomass for peat in the three peat fired power stations from 2015 has been set by the Irish Government. However, a knowledge gap exists on the extent to which Irish farmers would actually choose to grow these crops. An extension of the Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff (REFIT) scheme to include the co-firing of biomass with peat in electricity generation would enable the power stations to enter into Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). These offer a fixed price to farmers for biomass feedstock. The decision to adopt biomass is represented as a constrained problem under certainty with the objective of profit maximisation. The results showed that the price offered under a PPA has a large effect on the economic returns from biomass crops. The price that the power stations previously estimated they would be able to pay, at €46 and €48 per tonne for willow and miscanthus, respectively, was used as a starting point. At this price the number of farmers who would choose to adopt biomass production is insufficient to achieve the national co-firing target. The target could be achieved at €70 and €65 per tonne for willow and miscanthus, respectively. - Highlights: ► We model the decision of Irish farmers to produce biomass crops. ► Current prices will lead to insufficient adoption to achieve policy targets. ► REFIT mechanism can succeed in meeting policy goals. ► Willow prices need to increase by approximately 27 per cent. ► Miscanthus prices need to increase by approximately 8 per cent.

  2. U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass Supply for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downing, Mark [ORNL; Eaton, Laurence M [ORNL; Graham, Robin Lambert [ORNL; Langholtz, Matthew H [ORNL; Perlack, Robert D [ORNL; Turhollow Jr, Anthony F [ORNL; Stokes, Bryce [Navarro Research & Engineering; Brandt, Craig C [ORNL

    2011-08-01

    The report, Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply (generally referred to as the Billion-Ton Study or 2005 BTS), was an estimate of 'potential' biomass based on numerous assumptions about current and future inventory, production capacity, availability, and technology. The analysis was made to determine if conterminous U.S. agriculture and forestry resources had the capability to produce at least one billion dry tons of sustainable biomass annually to displace 30% or more of the nation's present petroleum consumption. An effort was made to use conservative estimates to assure confidence in having sufficient supply to reach the goal. The potential biomass was projected to be reasonably available around mid-century when large-scale biorefineries are likely to exist. The study emphasized primary sources of forest- and agriculture-derived biomass, such as logging residues, fuel treatment thinnings, crop residues, and perennially grown grasses and trees. These primary sources have the greatest potential to supply large, reliable, and sustainable quantities of biomass. While the primary sources were emphasized, estimates of secondary residue and tertiary waste resources of biomass were also provided. The original Billion-Ton Resource Assessment, published in 2005, was divided into two parts-forest-derived resources and agriculture-derived resources. The forest resources included residues produced during the harvesting of merchantable timber, forest residues, and small-diameter trees that could become available through initiatives to reduce fire hazards and improve forest health; forest residues from land conversion; fuelwood extracted from forests; residues generated at primary forest product processing mills; and urban wood wastes, municipal solid wastes (MSW), and construction and demolition (C&D) debris. For these forest resources, only residues, wastes, and small

  3. Using corngrass1 to engineer poplar as a bioenergy crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meilan, Richard; Rubinelli, Peter Marius; Chuck, George

    2016-05-10

    Embodiments of the present invention relate generally to new bioenergy crops and methods of creating new bioenergy crops. For example, genes encoding microRNAs (miRNAs) are used to create transgenic crops. In some embodiments, over-expression of miRNA is used to produce transgenic perennials, such as trees, with altered lignin content or composition. In some embodiments, the transgenic perennials are Populus spp. In some embodiments, the miRNA is a member of the miR156 family. In some embodiments, the gene is Zea mays Cg1.

  4. Long-term nitrous oxide fluxes in annual and perennial agricultural and unmanaged ecosystems in the upper Midwest USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, Ilya; Shcherbak, Iurii; Millar, Neville; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Robertson, G Philip

    2016-11-01

    Differences in soil nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes among ecosystems are often difficult to evaluate and predict due to high spatial and temporal variabilities and few direct experimental comparisons. For 20 years, we measured N 2 O fluxes in 11 ecosystems in southwest Michigan USA: four annual grain crops (corn-soybean-wheat rotations) managed with conventional, no-till, reduced input, or biologically based/organic inputs; three perennial crops (alfalfa, poplar, and conifers); and four unmanaged ecosystems of different successional age including mature forest. Average N 2 O emissions were higher from annual grain and N-fixing cropping systems than from nonleguminous perennial cropping systems and were low across unmanaged ecosystems. Among annual cropping systems full-rotation fluxes were indistinguishable from one another but rotation phase mattered. For example, those systems with cover crops and reduced fertilizer N emitted more N 2 O during the corn and soybean phases, but during the wheat phase fluxes were ~40% lower. Likewise, no-till did not differ from conventional tillage over the entire rotation but reduced emissions ~20% in the wheat phase and increased emissions 30-80% in the corn and soybean phases. Greenhouse gas intensity for the annual crops (flux per unit yield) was lowest for soybeans produced under conventional management, while for the 11 other crop × management combinations intensities were similar to one another. Among the fertilized systems, emissions ranged from 0.30 to 1.33 kg N 2 O-N ha -1  yr -1 and were best predicted by IPCC Tier 1 and ΔEF emission factor approaches. Annual cumulative fluxes from perennial systems were best explained by soil NO3- pools (r 2  = 0.72) but not so for annual crops, where management differences overrode simple correlations. Daily soil N 2 O emissions were poorly predicted by any measured variables. Overall, long-term measurements reveal lower fluxes in nonlegume perennial vegetation and, for

  5. Bioenergy in the United States: progress and possibilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, J.; Beyea, J.

    2000-01-01

    Concerns about global climate change and air quality have increased interest in biomass and other energy sources that are potentially CO 2 -neutral and less polluting. Large-scale bioenergy development could indeed bring significant ecological benefits - or equally significant damage - depending on the specific paths taken. In particular, the land requirements for biomass production are potentially immense. Various entities in the United States have performed research; prepared cost-supply assessments, environmental impact assessments, life cycle analyses and externality impact assessments; and engaged in demonstration and development regarding biomass crops and other potential biomass energy feedstocks. These efforts have focused on various biomass wastes, forest management issues, and biomass crops, including both perennial herbaceous crops and fast-growing woody crops. Simultaneously, several regional and national groups of bioenergy stakeholders have issued consensus recommendations and guidelines for sustainable bioenergy development. It is a consistent conclusion from these efforts that displacing annual agricultural crops with native perennial biomass crops could - in addition to reducing fossil fuel use and ameliorating associated ecological problems - also help restore natural ecosystem functions in worked landscapes, and thereby preserve natural biodiversity. Conversely, if forests are managed and harvested more intensively - and/or if biomass crops displace more natural land cover such as forests and wetlands - it is likely that ecosystem functions would be impaired and biodiversity lost. (author)

  6. 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

  7. The impact of the cropping system management on soil erosion and fertility in Northeastern Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jitareanu, G.; Ailincai, C.; Bucur, D.; Raus, L.; Filipov, F.; Cara, M.

    2009-01-01

    The mass of total carbon from Cambic Chernozem in the Moldavian Plain has recorded significant increases at higher than N 1 40 P 1 00 rates, in organo-mineral fertilization and in 4-year crop rotation, which included melioration plants of perennial grasses and legumes. In maize continuous cropping and wheat-maize rotation, very significant values of the carbon content were found only in the organo-mineral fertilization, in 4-year crop rotations + reserve field cultivated with perennial legumes and under N 1 40 P 1 00 fertilization. In comparison with 4-year crop rotations, in wheat-maize rotation with melioration plants (annual and perennial legumes and perennial grasses), the mean carbon content from soil has diminished from 18.6 to 16.4 C, g.Kg - 1 and the content in mobile phosphorus decreased from 51.6 to 36.8 P-Al, mg.kg - 1. The 40 year use of 3 and 4-year crop rotations has determined the increase in total carbon mass and mobile phosphorus from soil by 10% (1.7 C g-kg - 1) and 31%, respectively (11.8 P-Al mg.kg - 1), against maize continuous cropping. (Author) 6 refs.

  8. Effect of temperature on biomass allocation in seedlings of two contrasting genotypes of the oilseed crop Ricinus communis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ribeiro de Jesus, P.R.; Zanotti, R.F.; Deflers, C.; Fernandez, L.G.; Castro, De R.D.; Ligterink, W.; Hilhorst, H.W.M.

    2015-01-01

    Ricinus communis is becoming an important crop for oil production, and studying the physiological and biochemical aspects of seedling development may aid in the improvement of crop quality and yield. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of temperature on biomass allocation in two R.

  9. Atmospheric CO2 fertilization effects on biomass yields of 10 crops in northern Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan F. Degener

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The quality and quantity of the influence that atmospheric CO2 has on cropgrowth is still a matter of debate. This study's aim is to estimate if CO2 will have an effect on biomass yields at all, to quantify and spatially locate the effects and to explore if an elevated photosynthesis rate or water-use-efficiency is predominantly responsible. This study uses a numerical carbon based crop model (BioSTAR to estimate biomass yields within theadministrative boundaries of Niedersachsen in Northern Germany. 10 crops are included (winter grains: wheat, barley,rye, triticale - early, medium, late maize variety - sunflower, sorghum, spring wheat, modeled annuallyfor the entire 21st century on 91,014 separate sites. Modeling was conducted twice, once with an annually adaptedCO2 concentration according to the SRES-A1B scenario and once with a fixed concentration of 390 ppm to separate the influence of CO2 from that of the other input variables.Rising CO2 concentrations will play a central role in keeping future yields of all crops above or aroundtoday's level. Differences in yields between modeling with fixed or adapted CO2 can be as high as60 % towards the century's end. Generally yields will increase when CO2 rises and decline whenit is kept constant. As C4-crops are equivalently affected it is presumed that anelevated efficiency in water use is the main responsible factor for all plants.

  10. Field-Based Estimates of Global Warming Potential in Bioenergy Systems of Hawaii: Crop Choice and Deficit Irrigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan N Pawlowski

    Full Text Available Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable from a climate change perspective only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C stock are critical to the system-level balance. Here, we compared GHG flux, crop yield, root biomass, and soil C stock under two potential tropical, perennial grass biofuel feedstocks: conventional sugarcane and ratoon-harvested, zero-tillage napiergrass. Evaluations were conducted at two irrigation levels, 100% of plantation application and at a 50% deficit. Peaks and troughs of GHG emission followed agronomic events such as ratoon harvest of napiergrass and fertilization. Yet, net GHG flux was dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2, as methane was oxidized and nitrous oxide (N2O emission was very low even following fertilization. High N2O fluxes that frequently negate other greenhouse gas benefits that come from replacing fossil fuels with agronomic forms of bioenergy were mitigated by efficient water and fertilizer management, including direct injection of fertilizer into buried irrigation lines. From soil intensively cultivated for a century in sugarcane, soil C stock and root biomass increased rapidly following cultivation in grasses selected for robust root systems and drought tolerance. The net soil C increase over the two-year crop cycle was three-fold greater than the annualized soil surface CO2 flux. Deficit irrigation reduced yield, but increased soil C accumulation as proportionately more photosynthetic resources were allocated belowground. In the first two years of cultivation napiergrass did not increase net greenhouse warming potential (GWP compared to sugarcane, and has the advantage of multiple ratoon harvests per year and less negative effects of deficit irrigation to yield.

  11. Field-Based Estimates of Global Warming Potential in Bioenergy Systems of Hawaii: Crop Choice and Deficit Irrigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlowski, Meghan N; Crow, Susan E; Meki, Manyowa N; Kiniry, James R; Taylor, Andrew D; Ogoshi, Richard; Youkhana, Adel; Nakahata, Mae

    2017-01-01

    Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable from a climate change perspective only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C) stock are critical to the system-level balance. Here, we compared GHG flux, crop yield, root biomass, and soil C stock under two potential tropical, perennial grass biofuel feedstocks: conventional sugarcane and ratoon-harvested, zero-tillage napiergrass. Evaluations were conducted at two irrigation levels, 100% of plantation application and at a 50% deficit. Peaks and troughs of GHG emission followed agronomic events such as ratoon harvest of napiergrass and fertilization. Yet, net GHG flux was dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2), as methane was oxidized and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission was very low even following fertilization. High N2O fluxes that frequently negate other greenhouse gas benefits that come from replacing fossil fuels with agronomic forms of bioenergy were mitigated by efficient water and fertilizer management, including direct injection of fertilizer into buried irrigation lines. From soil intensively cultivated for a century in sugarcane, soil C stock and root biomass increased rapidly following cultivation in grasses selected for robust root systems and drought tolerance. The net soil C increase over the two-year crop cycle was three-fold greater than the annualized soil surface CO2 flux. Deficit irrigation reduced yield, but increased soil C accumulation as proportionately more photosynthetic resources were allocated belowground. In the first two years of cultivation napiergrass did not increase net greenhouse warming potential (GWP) compared to sugarcane, and has the advantage of multiple ratoon harvests per year and less negative effects of deficit irrigation to yield.

  12. Soil Compressibility under Irrigated Perennial and Annual Crops in a Semi-Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Watanabe

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In irrigated soils, a continuous state of high moisture reduces resistance of the soil to applied external forces, favouring compaction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility to compaction of developed calcareous soils in irrigated annual and perennial cropping systems of the Apodi Plateau, located in the Brazilian semi-arid region. Four areas of irrigated crops were evaluated: banana after two (B2 and 15 (B15 years cultivation, pasture (P, and a corn and beans succession (MB, as well as the reference areas for soil quality and corresponding natural vegetation (NVB2, NVB15, NVP and NVMB. Samples were collected at layers of 0.00-0.10 and 0.20-0.30 m; and for B2 and B15, samples were collected in the row and inter-row spaces. The following properties were determined: degree of compactness (DC, preconsolidation pressure (σp, compression index (Cc, maximum density (ρmax, critical water content (WCcrit, total organic carbon (TOC and carbon of light organic matter (Clom. Mean values were compared by the t-test at 5, 10, 15 and 20 % probability. An increase was seen in DC at a layer of 0.20-0.30 m in MB (p<0.15, showing the deleterious effects of preparing the soil by ploughing and chiselling, together with the cumulative traffic of heavy machinery. The TOC had a greater influence on ρmax than the stocks of Clom. Irrigation caused a reduction in Cc, and there was no effect on σp at field capacity. The planting rows showed different behaviour for Cc, ρmax, and WCcrit,, and in general the physical properties displayed better conditions than the inter-row spaces. Values for σp and Cc showed that agricultural soils display greater load-bearing capacity and are less susceptible to compaction in relation to soils under natural vegetation.

  13. [Research of the Bt crop biomass dynamics upon the invasion of Bt-resistant pests. A mathematical model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusakov, A V; Medvinskiĭ, A B; Li, B -L; Gonik, M M

    2009-01-01

    The results of simulations of some consequences of the invasion of Bt-resistant pests into an agricultural ecosystem containing a Bt crop are presented. It is shown that the invasion of Bt-resistant pests leads to changes in the plant biomass dynamics, a decrease in the Bt crop production, and the deterioration of the predictability of the Bt crop production. We show that the parameter values at which the badly predictable Bt crop production takes place, occupy a minor area in the model parameter space. The size of the area depends on the insect reproduction period and the duration of the growing season.

  14. PERPHECLIM ACCAF Project - Perennial fruit crops and forest phenology evolution facing climatic changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia de Cortazar-Atauri, Iñaki; Audergon, Jean Marc; Bertuzzi, Patrick; Anger, Christel; Bonhomme, Marc; Chuine, Isabelle; Davi, Hendrik; Delzon, Sylvain; Duchêne, Eric; Legave, Jean Michel; Raynal, Hélène; Pichot, Christian; Van Leeuwen, Cornelis; Perpheclim Team

    2015-04-01

    Phenology is a bio-indicator of climate evolutions. Measurements of phenological stages on perennial species provide actually significant illustrations and assessments of the impact of climate change. Phenology is also one of the main key characteristics of the capacity of adaptation of perennial species, generating questions about their consequences on plant growth and development or on fruit quality. Predicting phenology evolution and adaptative capacities of perennial species need to override three main methodological limitations: 1) existing observations and associated databases are scattered and sometimes incomplete, rendering difficult implementation of multi-site study of genotype-environment interaction analyses; 2) there are not common protocols to observe phenological stages; 3) access to generic phenological models platforms is still very limited. In this context, the PERPHECLIM project, which is funded by the Adapting Agriculture and Forestry to Climate Change Meta-Program (ACCAF) from INRA (French National Institute of Agronomic Research), has the objective to develop the necessary infrastructure at INRA level (observatories, information system, modeling tools) to enable partners to study the phenology of various perennial species (grapevine, fruit trees and forest trees). Currently the PERPHECLIM project involves 27 research units in France. The main activities currently developed are: define protocols and observation forms to observe phenology for various species of interest for the project; organizing observation training; develop generic modeling solutions to simulate phenology (Phenological Modelling Platform and modelling platform solutions); support in building research projects at national and international level; develop environment/genotype observation networks for fruit trees species; develop an information system managing data and documentation concerning phenology. Finally, PERPHECLIM project aims to build strong collaborations with public

  15. African Journal of Range and Forage Science - Vol 11, No 1 (1976)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Range and Forage Science. ... Changes of biomass in some perennial grass species. ... The use of shoot dimensions to estimate the leaf mass or shoot area of certain indigenous ... Italian ryegrass as a perennial fodder crop.

  16. Climate change and the economics of biomass energy feedstocks in semi-arid agricultural landscapes: A spatially explicit real options analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regan, Courtney M; Connor, Jeffery D; Raja Segaran, Ramesh; Meyer, Wayne S; Bryan, Brett A; Ostendorf, Bertram

    2017-05-01

    The economics of establishing perennial species as renewable energy feedstocks has been widely investigated as a climate change adapted diversification option for landholders, primarily using net present value (NPV) analysis. NPV does not account for key uncertainties likely to influence relevant landholder decision making. While real options analysis (ROA) is an alternative method that accounts for the uncertainty over future conditions and the large upfront irreversible investment involved in establishing perennials, there have been limited applications of ROA to evaluating land use change decision economics and even fewer applications considering climate change risks. Further, while the influence of spatially varying climate risk on biomass conversion economic has been widely evaluated using NPV methods, effects of spatial variability and climate on land use change have been scarcely assessed with ROA. In this study we applied a simulation-based ROA model to evaluate a landholder's decision to convert land from agriculture to biomass. This spatially explicit model considers price and yield risks under baseline climate and two climate change scenarios over a geographically diverse farming region. We found that underlying variability in primary productivity across the study area had a substantial effect on conversion thresholds required to trigger land use change when compared to results from NPV analysis. Areas traditionally thought of as being quite similar in average productive capacity can display large differences in response to the inclusion of production and price risks. The effects of climate change, broadly reduced returns required for land use change to biomass in low and medium rainfall zones and increased them in higher rainfall areas. Additionally, the risks posed by climate change can further exacerbate the tendency for NPV methods to underestimate true conversion thresholds. Our results show that even under severe drying and warming where crop yield

  17. Phylogeny in Defining Model Plants for Lignocellulosic Ethanol Production: A Comparative Study of Brachypodium distachyon, Wheat, Maize, and Miscanthus x giganteus Leaf and Stem Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meineke, Till; Manisseri, Chithra; Voigt, Christian A.

    2014-01-01

    The production of ethanol from pretreated plant biomass during fermentation is a strategy to mitigate climate change by substituting fossil fuels. However, biomass conversion is mainly limited by the recalcitrant nature of the plant cell wall. To overcome recalcitrance, the optimization of the plant cell wall for subsequent processing is a promising approach. Based on their phylogenetic proximity to existing and emerging energy crops, model plants have been proposed to study bioenergy-related cell wall biochemistry. One example is Brachypodium distachyon, which has been considered as a general model plant for cell wall analysis in grasses. To test whether relative phylogenetic proximity would be sufficient to qualify as a model plant not only for cell wall composition but also for the complete process leading to bioethanol production, we compared the processing of leaf and stem biomass from the C3 grasses B. distachyon and Triticum aestivum (wheat) with the C4 grasses Zea mays (maize) and Miscanthus x giganteus, a perennial energy crop. Lambda scanning with a confocal laser-scanning microscope allowed a rapid qualitative analysis of biomass saccharification. A maximum of 108–117 mg ethanol·g−1 dry biomass was yielded from thermo-chemically and enzymatically pretreated stem biomass of the tested plant species. Principal component analysis revealed that a relatively strong correlation between similarities in lignocellulosic ethanol production and phylogenetic relation was only given for stem and leaf biomass of the two tested C4 grasses. Our results suggest that suitability of B. distachyon as a model plant for biomass conversion of energy crops has to be specifically tested based on applied processing parameters and biomass tissue type. PMID:25133818

  18. The impact of the cropping system management on soil erosion and fertility in Northeastern Romania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jitareanu, G.; Ailincai, C.; Bucur, D.; Raus, L.; Filipov, F.; Cara, M.

    2009-07-01

    The mass of total carbon from Cambic Chernozem in the Moldavian Plain has recorded significant increases at higher than N{sub 1}40 P{sub 1}00 rates, in organo-mineral fertilization and in 4-year crop rotation, which included melioration plants of perennial grasses and legumes. In maize continuous cropping and wheat-maize rotation, very significant values of the carbon content were found only in the organo-mineral fertilization, in 4-year crop rotations + reserve field cultivated with perennial legumes and under N{sub 1}40 P{sub 1}00 fertilization. In comparison with 4-year crop rotations, in wheat-maize rotation with melioration plants (annual and perennial legumes and perennial grasses), the mean carbon content from soil has diminished from 18.6 to 16.4 C, g.Kg{sup -}1 and the content in mobile phosphorus decreased from 51.6 to 36.8 P-Al, mg.kg{sup -}1. The 40 year use of 3 and 4-year crop rotations has determined the increase in total carbon mass and mobile phosphorus from soil by 10% (1.7 C g-kg{sup -}1) and 31%, respectively (11.8 P-Al mg.kg{sup -}1), against maize continuous cropping. (Author) 6 refs.

  19. Effect of Puccinia silphii on Yield Components and Leaf Physiology in Silphium integrifolium: Lessons for the Domestication of a Perennial Oilseed Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Kathryn Turner

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available New crops with greater capacity for delivering ecosystem services are needed to increase agricultural sustainability. However, even in these crops, seed yield is usually the main criteria for grain domestication. This focus on yield can cause unintended structural and functional changes. Leaves of selected plants tend to be more vulnerable to infection, which can reduce performance, assimilates, and ultimately yield. Our objectives were to determine the impact of rust (caused by Puccinia silphii on yield and leaf function in selected Silphium integrifolium (Asteraceae plants. We tested the effect of a fungicide treatment on rust severity and yield, compared the rust infection of individuals in a population selected for yield, and related this to chemical changes at the leaf level. We also estimated heritability for rust resistance. We found that productivity indicators (head number and weight, leaf weight and leaf processes (photosynthetic capacity, water use efficiency were reduced when silphium leaves and stems were more heavily infected by P. silphii. Leaf resin content increased when susceptible plants were infected. Fungicide treatments were effective at reducing rust infection severity, but were ineffective at preventing yield losses. We propose that disease resistance should be included early in the selection process of new perennial crops.

  20. Biomass resources in California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tiangco, V.M.; Sethi, P.S. [California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The biomass resources in California which have potential for energy conversion were assessed and characterized through the project funded by the California Energy Commission and the US Department of Energy`s Western Regional Biomass Energy Program (WRBEP). The results indicate that there is an abundance of biomass resources as yet untouched by the industry due to technical, economic, and environmental problems, and other barriers. These biomass resources include residues from field and seed crops, fruit and nut crops, vegetable crops, and nursery crops; food processing wastes; forest slash; energy crops; lumber mill waste; urban wood waste; urban yard waste; livestock manure; and chaparral. The estimated total potential of these biomass resource is approximately 47 million bone dry tons (BDT), which is equivalent to 780 billion MJ (740 trillion Btu). About 7 million BDT (132 billion MJ or 124 trillion Btu) of biomass residue was used for generating electricity by 66 direct combustion facilities with gross capacity of about 800 MW. This tonnage accounts for only about 15% of the total biomass resource potential identified in this study. The barriers interfering with the biomass utilization both in the on-site harvesting, collection, storage, handling, transportation, and conversion to energy are identified. The question whether these barriers present significant impact to biomass {open_quotes}availability{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}sustainability{close_quotes} remains to be answered.

  1. Switchgrass, Bermudagrass, Flaccidgrass, and Lovegrass biomass yield response to nitrogen for single and double harvest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aravindhakshan, Sijesh C.; Epplin, Francis M.; Taliaferro, Charles M.

    2011-01-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified as a model dedicated energy crop species. After a perennial grass is established, the major variable costs are for nitrogen (N) fertilizer and harvest. Prior to establishing switchgrass on millions of ha in a particular agro-climatic region, it would be useful to determine switchgrass yield response to N and its response to harvest frequency relative to alternative grass species. The objective of this research is to determine biomass yield response to N for four perennial grass species and to determine the species, N level, and harvest frequency that will maximize expected net returns, given the climate and soils of the U.S.A. Southern Plains. Yield data were produced in an experiment that includes four species (switchgrass, bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), and carostan flaccidgrass (Pennisetum flaccidum)), four N levels, and two harvest levels. Linear response plateau (LRP), linear response stochastic plateau (LRSP), and quadratic response (QR) functions are estimated. For all combinations of biomass and N prices considered, the optimal species is switchgrass. For most price situations, it is economically optimal to fertilize established stands of switchgrass with 69 kg N ha -1 yr -1 and to harvest once yr -1 after senescence.

  2. Switchgrass, Bermudagrass, Flaccidgrass, and Lovegrass biomass yield response to nitrogen for single and double harvest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aravindhakshan, Sijesh C.; Epplin, Francis M. [Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-6026 (United States); Taliaferro, Charles M. [Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States)

    2011-01-15

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified as a model dedicated energy crop species. After a perennial grass is established, the major variable costs are for nitrogen (N) fertilizer and harvest. Prior to establishing switchgrass on millions of ha in a particular agro-climatic region, it would be useful to determine switchgrass yield response to N and its response to harvest frequency relative to alternative grass species. The objective of this research is to determine biomass yield response to N for four perennial grass species and to determine the species, N level, and harvest frequency that will maximize expected net returns, given the climate and soils of the U.S.A. Southern Plains. Yield data were produced in an experiment that includes four species (switchgrass, bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), and carostan flaccidgrass (Pennisetum flaccidum)), four N levels, and two harvest levels. Linear response plateau (LRP), linear response stochastic plateau (LRSP), and quadratic response (QR) functions are estimated. For all combinations of biomass and N prices considered, the optimal species is switchgrass. For most price situations, it is economically optimal to fertilize established stands of switchgrass with 69 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} and to harvest once yr{sup -1} after senescence. (author)

  3. Constraints to obtaining consistent annual yields in perennial tree crops. I: Heavy fruit load dominates over vegetative growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Harley M; Samach, Alon

    2013-06-01

    Farmers lack effective methods to achieve and maintain stable production from year to year in many commercial fruit crops. Annual fruit yield within a region often alternates between high and low fruit load and is termed alternate bearing. The underlying cause of alternate bearing is the negative impact of high fruit load on vegetative growth and next year's flowering. In this review, we emphasize common responses of diverse perennials to heavy crop load. We present botanical, ecological and horticultural perspectives on irregular bearing. The later part of this review focuses on understanding how high fruit load dominates over vegetative growth. We discuss sink strengths and putative mobile signals (hormones), perhaps seed-derived. We highlight gaps in current understanding of alternate bearing, and discuss new approaches to better understand fruit load dominance. Assuming the effect of high fruit load may be related to other mechanisms of sink partitioning, other forms of dominance are presented such as apical, first fruit and king fruit dominance. Dominance seems to be enforced, in independent cases through the establishment of a polar auxin transport system from the stronger sink. Once established this somehow perturbs the transport of auxin out of weaker sinks. Possibly, fruit derived auxin may alter the polar auxin transport system of the shoot to inhibit shoot growth. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Ethanol and High-Value Terpene Co-Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass of Cymbopogon flexuosus and Cymbopogon martinii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blake L Joyce

    Full Text Available Cymbopogon flexuosus, lemongrass, and C. martinii, palmarosa, are perennial grasses grown to produce essential oils for the fragrance industry. The objectives of this study were (1 to evaluate biomass and oil yields as a function of nitrogen and sulfur fertilization, and (2 to characterize their utility for lignocellulosic ethanol compared to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass. Mean biomass yields were 12.83 Mg lemongrass ha-1 and 15.11 Mg palmarosa ha-1 during the second harvest year resulting in theoretical biofuel yields of 2541 and 2569 L ethanol ha-1 respectively compared to reported 1749-3691 L ethanol ha-1 for switchgrass. Pretreated lemongrass yielded 198 mL ethanol (g biomass-1 and pretreated palmarosa yielded 170 mL ethanol (g biomass-1. Additionally, lemongrass yielded 85.7 kg essential oil ha-1 and palmarosa yielded 67.0 kg ha-1 with an estimated value of USD $857 and $1005 ha-1. These data suggest that dual-use crops such as lemongrass and palmarosa may increase the economic viability of lignocellulosic biofuels.

  6. Ethanol and High-Value Terpene Co-Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass of Cymbopogon flexuosus and Cymbopogon martinii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Blake L; Zheljazkov, Valtcho D; Sykes, Robert; Cantrell, Charles L; Hamilton, Choo; Mann, David G J; Rodriguez, Miguel; Mielenz, Jonathan R; Astatkie, Tess; Stewart, C Neal

    2015-01-01

    Cymbopogon flexuosus, lemongrass, and C. martinii, palmarosa, are perennial grasses grown to produce essential oils for the fragrance industry. The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate biomass and oil yields as a function of nitrogen and sulfur fertilization, and (2) to characterize their utility for lignocellulosic ethanol compared to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass). Mean biomass yields were 12.83 Mg lemongrass ha-1 and 15.11 Mg palmarosa ha-1 during the second harvest year resulting in theoretical biofuel yields of 2541 and 2569 L ethanol ha-1 respectively compared to reported 1749-3691 L ethanol ha-1 for switchgrass. Pretreated lemongrass yielded 198 mL ethanol (g biomass)-1 and pretreated palmarosa yielded 170 mL ethanol (g biomass)-1. Additionally, lemongrass yielded 85.7 kg essential oil ha-1 and palmarosa yielded 67.0 kg ha-1 with an estimated value of USD $857 and $1005 ha-1. These data suggest that dual-use crops such as lemongrass and palmarosa may increase the economic viability of lignocellulosic biofuels.

  7. Cynara cardunculus suitability as energetic crop in the south east of Spain using compost as amendment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lag, A.; Gómez, I.; Navarro, J.; Córdoba, P.; Bartual, J.

    2009-04-01

    Global warming demands urgent actions to reduce problems derivated from it. In this sense, fossil fuels should be replaced gradually with renewable energy sources, like energetic crops, to decrease or at least maintain CO2 levels in the atmosphere. For example, net carbon emissions from generation of a unit of bioenergy are 10 to 20 times lower than emissions from fossil fuel based generation. Compared with fossil fuels, the use of lignocellulosic feedstocks has greenhouse gas reduction potential and highly positive net energy returns because of low input demand and high yields per unit land area. In addition, conversion of degradated agricultural soils to perennial crops can improve soil quality by increasing C sequestration due to their perenniality, high biomass production, and deep root systems. For all these reasons, the aim of this study is to ascertain Cynara cardunculus sp suitability as energetic crop in the south-east of Spain, using compost as organic amendment. Five compost treatments were applied to the soil: 0 (D1), 20 (D2), 40 (D3), 60 (D4) and 80 (D5) t of compost/ha. The experiment lasted 5 months, sampling 3 times (January; April and June). Twelve Cynara Cardunculus plants were placed in each plot (4x7 m); half of them were collected at the end of the experiment. Treated sewage water was used to irrigate the crop. Organic carbon in soil and above ground biomass were studied. Dry weight yield production was between 494 (D4) to 740 kg/ha (D3). Considering that 45 to 50 % of plant dry weight matter could be assumed as carbon, carbon sequestration range from 0.8 to 1.2 t of CO2/ha for a short period of 5 months. Soil Organic carbon levels, at the end of the experiment, increased in each compost treatment compared with control value as follow: 16% (D2); 33% (D3); 43% (D4) and 73% (D5). The results show that Cynara cardunculus sp could be used as energetic crop in the south east of Spain, as it was suggested by the European Environmental Agency. However

  8. Water Quality Effects of Miscanthus as a Bioenergy Crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, T.; Eheart, J. W.; Cai, X.

    2009-12-01

    There is increasing interest in perennial grasses as a renewable source of bioenergy and biofuels. Under the right conditions, environmental advantages of cultivating such crops, relative to conventional row crops, include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and waterborne pollutants, increased biodiversity and improved soil properties. This study focuses on the riverine nitrate load of cultivating miscanthus in lieu of conventional crops. Miscanthus has been identified as a high-yielding, low-input perennial grass suitable as a feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production and power generation by biomass combustion. To achieve the objective of this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used to model runoff and stream water quality in the Salt Creek watershed in East-Central Illinois. The watershed is agricultural and its nitrogen export, like that of most other agricultural watersheds in the region, is a major contributor to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. SWAT is a hydrologic model with a built-in crop growth component. However, as miscanthus is relatively new as a crop of interest, data for the SWAT crop growth parameters for it are lacking. This study reports an evaluation of those parameters and an application of them to estimate the potential reduction in nitrate load from miscanthus cultivation under various scenarios. The miscanthus growth parameters are divided into three subsets. The first subset contains those parameters describing optimal growth under zero stress conditions, while the second contains those used to estimate nitrogen stress. Those parameters that are remaining (namely, maximum root depth and phosphorus and temperature stress parameters) are included in the third subset. To calibrate for the parameters in the first subset, simulated data from another miscanthus growth model are used. That other model is highly mechanistic and has been validated (no calibration is necessary because of its degree of mechanisticity) using

  9. Toward Genomics-Based Breeding in C3 Cool-Season Perennial Grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talukder, Shyamal K.; Saha, Malay C.

    2017-01-01

    Most important food and feed crops in the world belong to the C3 grass family. The future of food security is highly reliant on achieving genetic gains of those grasses. Conventional breeding methods have already reached a plateau for improving major crops. Genomics tools and resources have opened an avenue to explore genome-wide variability and make use of the variation for enhancing genetic gains in breeding programs. Major C3 annual cereal breeding programs are well equipped with genomic tools; however, genomic research of C3 cool-season perennial grasses is lagging behind. In this review, we discuss the currently available genomics tools and approaches useful for C3 cool-season perennial grass breeding. Along with a general review, we emphasize the discussion focusing on forage grasses that were considered orphan and have little or no genetic information available. Transcriptome sequencing and genotype-by-sequencing technology for genome-wide marker detection using next-generation sequencing (NGS) are very promising as genomics tools. Most C3 cool-season perennial grass members have no prior genetic information; thus NGS technology will enhance collinear study with other C3 model grasses like Brachypodium and rice. Transcriptomics data can be used for identification of functional genes and molecular markers, i.e., polymorphism markers and simple sequence repeats (SSRs). Genome-wide association study with NGS-based markers will facilitate marker identification for marker-assisted selection. With limited genetic information, genomic selection holds great promise to breeders for attaining maximum genetic gain of the cool-season C3 perennial grasses. Application of all these tools can ensure better genetic gains, reduce length of selection cycles, and facilitate cultivar development to meet the future demand for food and fodder. PMID:28798766

  10. Toward Genomics-Based Breeding in C3 Cool-Season Perennial Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shyamal K. Talukder

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Most important food and feed crops in the world belong to the C3 grass family. The future of food security is highly reliant on achieving genetic gains of those grasses. Conventional breeding methods have already reached a plateau for improving major crops. Genomics tools and resources have opened an avenue to explore genome-wide variability and make use of the variation for enhancing genetic gains in breeding programs. Major C3 annual cereal breeding programs are well equipped with genomic tools; however, genomic research of C3 cool-season perennial grasses is lagging behind. In this review, we discuss the currently available genomics tools and approaches useful for C3 cool-season perennial grass breeding. Along with a general review, we emphasize the discussion focusing on forage grasses that were considered orphan and have little or no genetic information available. Transcriptome sequencing and genotype-by-sequencing technology for genome-wide marker detection using next-generation sequencing (NGS are very promising as genomics tools. Most C3 cool-season perennial grass members have no prior genetic information; thus NGS technology will enhance collinear study with other C3 model grasses like Brachypodium and rice. Transcriptomics data can be used for identification of functional genes and molecular markers, i.e., polymorphism markers and simple sequence repeats (SSRs. Genome-wide association study with NGS-based markers will facilitate marker identification for marker-assisted selection. With limited genetic information, genomic selection holds great promise to breeders for attaining maximum genetic gain of the cool-season C3 perennial grasses. Application of all these tools can ensure better genetic gains, reduce length of selection cycles, and facilitate cultivar development to meet the future demand for food and fodder.

  11. Comparing soil organic carbon dynamics in perennial grasses and shrubs in a saline-alkaline arid region, northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yong; Pei, Zhiqin; Su, Jiaqi; Zhang, Jingli; Zheng, Yuanrun; Ni, Jian; Xiao, Chunwang; Wang, Renzhong

    2012-01-01

    Although semi-arid and arid regions account for about 40% of terrestrial surface of the Earth and contain approximately 10% of the global soil organic carbon stock, our understanding of soil organic carbon dynamics in these regions is limited. A field experiment was conducted to compare soil organic carbon dynamics between a perennial grass community dominated by Cleistogenes squarrosa and an adjacent shrub community co-dominated by Reaumuria soongorica and Haloxylon ammodendron, two typical plant life forms in arid ecosystems of saline-alkaline arid regions in northwestern China during the growing season 2010. We found that both fine root biomass and necromass in two life forms varied greatly during the growing season. Annual fine root production in the perennial grasses was 45.6% significantly higher than in the shrubs, and fine root turnover rates were 2.52 and 2.17 yr(-1) for the perennial grasses and the shrubs, respectively. Floor mass was significantly higher in the perennial grasses than in the shrubs due to the decomposition rate of leaf litter in the perennial grasses was 61.8% lower than in the shrubs even though no significance was detected in litterfall production. Soil microbial biomass and activity demonstrated a strong seasonal variation with larger values in May and September and minimum values in the dry month of July. Observed higher soil organic carbon stocks in the perennial grasses (1.32 Kg C m(-2)) than in the shrubs (1.12 Kg C m(-2)) might be attributed to both greater inputs of poor quality litter that is relatively resistant to decay and the lower ability of microorganism to decompose these organic matter. Our results suggest that the perennial grasses might accumulate more soil organic carbon with time than the shrubs because of larger amounts of inputs from litter and slower return of carbon through decomposition.

  12. 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.

  13. Cultivo de milho no sistema de aléias com leguminosas perenes Maize crop in alley cropping system with perennials legumes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano Rodrigues Queiroz

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Objetivou-se avaliar a influência de algumas leguminosas perenes no teor foliar de N, P e K e na produtividade da cultura do milho (UENF 506-8, cultivado no sistema de aléias, sem adubação fosfatada. Foram realizados experimentos de campo por dois ciclos de cultivo, no Campo Experimental do CCTA/UENF, em Campos dos Goytacazes - RJ. Os tratamentos consistiram no sistema de aléias com Albizia lebbeck (L. Benth., Peltophorum dubium (Spreng. Taub., Leucaena leucocephala (Lam. de Wit., Cajanus cajan (L. Millsp., Sesbania virgata (Cav. Pers., Mimosa caesalpiniaefolia Benth., Gliricidia sepium (Jacq. Pers. e duas testemunhas com milho solteiro (com e sem NPK. Após oito meses de plantio das leguminosas, essas foram podadas, o material foi incorporado ao solo e em seguida semeado o milho nas entrelinhas, com espaçamento de 80 cm entre fileiras. Após 60 dias da semeadura do milho efetuou-se nova poda. No segundo ciclo de cultivo, as práticas culturais foram similares às do primeiro. Foi utilizado o delineamento em blocos casualizados com quatro repetições. Nas aléias de guandu, observou-se milho com maior teor foliar de N, em relação às demais leguminosas, no primeiro ciclo de cultivo. No segundo ciclo, os consórcios milho+guandu, milho+gliricídia e milho solteiro adubado superaram os demais na produtividade de grãos.The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of perennials legumes, in N, P and K foliar concentration and maize productivity in alley cropping system, without phosphorus fertilization. Field experiments were carried out for two cycles, with legumes intercropping maize (UENF 506-8 in Field Research CCTA/UENF in Campos dos Goytacazes - RJ - Brazil. The treatments consisted of alley cropping system with the species: Albizia lebbeck (L. Benth., Peltophorum dubium (Spreng. Taub., Leucaena leucocephala (Lam. de Wit., Cajanus cajan (L. Millsp., Sesbania virgata (Cav. Pers., Mimosa caesalpiniaefolia Benth., Gliricidia

  14. Advantage of hyperspectral EO-1 Hyperion over multispectral IKONOS, GeoEye-1, WorldView-2, Landsat ETM+, and MODIS vegetation indices in crop biomass estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Michael T.; Thenkabail, Prasad S.

    2015-01-01

    Crop biomass is increasingly being measured with surface reflectance data derived from multispectral broadband (MSBB) and hyperspectral narrowband (HNB) space-borne remotely sensed data to increase the accuracy and efficiency of crop yield models used in a wide array of agricultural applications. However, few studies compare the ability of MSBBs versus HNBs to capture crop biomass variability. Therefore, we used standard data mining techniques to identify a set of MSBB data from the IKONOS, GeoEye-1, Landsat ETM+, MODIS, WorldView-2 sensors and compared their performance with HNB data from the EO-1 Hyperion sensor in explaining crop biomass variability of four important field crops (rice, alfalfa, cotton, maize). The analysis employed two-band (ratio) vegetation indices (TBVIs) and multiband (additive) vegetation indices (MBVIs) derived from Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) and stepwise regression. Results demonstrated that HNB-derived TBVIs and MBVIs performed better than MSBB-derived TBVIs and MBVIs on a per crop basis and for the pooled data: overall, HNB TBVIs explained 5–31% greater variability when compared with various MSBB TBVIs; and HNB MBVIs explained 3–33% greater variability when compared with various MSBB MBVIs. The performance of MSBB MBVIs and TBVIs improved mildly, by combining spectral information across multiple sensors involving IKONOS, GeoEye-1, Landsat ETM+, MODIS, and WorldView-2. A number of HNBs that advance crop biomass modeling were determined. Based on the highest factor loadings on the first component of the SVD, the “red-edge” spectral range (700–740 nm) centered at 722 nm (bandwidth = 10 nm) stood out prominently, while five additional and distinct portions of the recorded spectral range (400–2500 nm) centered at 539 nm, 758 nm, 914 nm, 1130 nm, 1320 nm (bandwidth = 10 nm) were also important. The best HNB vegetation indices for crop biomass estimation involved 549 and 752 nm for rice (R2 = 0.91); 925 and 1104 nm for

  15. Development of High Yield Feedstocks and Biomass Conversion Technology for Renewable Energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hashimoto, Andrew G. [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Crow, Susan [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); DeBeryshe, Barbara [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Ha, Richard [Hamakua Springs County Farms, Hilo, HI (United States); Jakeway, Lee [Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Puunene, HI (United States); Khanal, Samir [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Nakahata, Mae [Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, Puunene, HI (United States); Ogoshi, Richard [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Shimizu, Erik [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Stern, Ivette [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Turano, Brian [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Turn, Scott [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Yanagida, John [Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States)

    2015-04-09

    This project had two main goals. The first goal was to evaluate several high yielding tropical perennial grasses as feedstock for biofuel production, and to characterize the feedstock for compatible biofuel production systems. The second goal was to assess the integration of renewable energy systems for Hawaii. The project focused on high-yield grasses (napiergrass, energycane, sweet sorghum, and sugarcane). Field plots were established to evaluate the effects of elevation (30, 300 and 900 meters above sea level) and irrigation (50%, 75% and 100% of sugarcane plantation practice) on energy crop yields and input. The test plots were extensive monitored including: hydrologic studies to measure crop water use and losses through seepage and evapotranspiration; changes in soil carbon stock; greenhouse gas flux (CO2, CH4, and N2O) from the soil surface; and root morphology, biomass, and turnover. Results showed significant effects of environment on crop yields. In general, crop yields decrease as the elevation increased, being more pronounced for sweet sorghum and energycane than napiergrass. Also energy crop yields were higher with increased irrigation levels, being most pronounced with energycane and less so with sweet sorghum. Daylight length greatly affected sweet sorghum growth and yields. One of the energy crops (napiergrass) was harvested at different ages (2, 4, 6, and 8 months) to assess the changes in feedstock characteristics with age and potential to generate co-products. Although there was greater potential for co-products from younger feedstock, the increased production was not sufficient to offset the additional cost of harvesting multiple times per year. The feedstocks were also characterized to assess their compatibility with biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes. The project objectives are being continued through additional support from the Office of Naval Research, and the Biomass Research and Development

  16. Modulation of phytochrome signaling networks for improved biomass accumulation using a bioenergy crop model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mockler, Todd C. [Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis, MO (United States)

    2016-11-07

    Plant growth and development, including stem elongation, flowering time, and shade-avoidance habits, are affected by wavelength composition (i.e., light quality) of the light environment. the molecular mechanisms underlying light perception and signaling pathways in plants have been best characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana where dozens of genes have been implicated in converging, complementary, and antagonistic pathways communicating light quality cues perceived by the phytochrome (red/far-red) cryptochrome (blue) and phototropin (blue) photorecptors. Light perception and signaling have been studied in grasses, including rice and sorghum but in much less detail than in Arabidopsis. During the course of the Mocker lab's DOE-funded wrok generating a gene expression atlas in Brachypodium distachyon we observed that Brachypodium plants grown in continuous monochromatic red light or continuous white light enriched in far-red light accumulated significantly more biomass and exhibited significantly greater seed yield than plants grown in monochromatic blue light or white light. This phenomenon was also observed in two other grasses, switchgrass and rice. We will systematically manipulate the expression of genes predicted to function in Brachypodium phytochrome signaling and assess the phenotypic consequences in transgenic Brachypodium plants in terms of morphology, stature, biomass accumulation, and cell wall composition. We will also interrogate direct interactions between candidate phytochrome signaling transcription factors and target promoters using a high-throughput yeast one-hybrid system. Brachypodium distachyon has emerged as a model grass species and is closely related to candidate feedstock crops for bioethanol production. Identification of genes capable of modifying growth characteristics of Brachypodium, when misexpressed, in particular increasing biomass accumulation, by modulating photoreceptor signaling will provide valuable candidates for

  17. 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.

  18. 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.)

  19. 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)

  20. Evaluating a biomass resource: The TVA region-wide biomass resource assessment model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downing, M.; Graham, R.L. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The economic and supply structures of short rotation woody crop (SRWC) markets have not been established. Establishing the likely price and supply of SRWC biomass in a region is a complex task because biomass is not an established commodity as are oil, natural gas and coal. In this study we project the cost and supply of short-rotation woody biomass for the TVA region -- a 276 county area that includes all of Tennessee and portions of 10 contiguous states in the southeastern United States. Projected prices and quantities of SRWC are assumed to be a function of the amount and quality of crop and pasture land available in a region, expected SRWC yields and production costs on differing soils and land types, and the profit that could be obtained from current conventional crop production on these same lands. Results include the supply curve of SRWC biomass that is projected to be available from the entire region, the amount and location of crop and pasture land that would be used, and the conventional agricultural crops that would be displaced as a function of SRWC production. Finally, we show the results of sensitivity analysis on the projected cost and supply of SRWC biomass. In particular, we examine the separate impacts of varying SRWC production yields.

  1. Bioenergy Supply and Environmental Impacts on Cropland: Insights from Multi-market Forecasts in a Great Lakes Subregional Bioeconomic Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egbendewe-Mondzozo, Aklesso [Univ. of Lome, Lome (Togo); Swinton, Scott M. [Univ. of Lome, Lome (Togo); Kang, Shujiang [Univ. of Lome, Lome (Togo); Post, Wilfred M. [Univ. of Lome, Lome (Togo); Binfield, Julian C. [Univ. of Lome, Lome (Togo); Thompson, Wyatt [Univ. of Lome, Lome (Togo)

    2015-01-03

    Using subregional models of crop production choices in central Wisconsin and southwest Michigan, we predict biomass production, land use, and environmental impacts with details that are unavailable from national scale models. When biomass prices are raised exogenously, we find that the subregional models overestimate the supply, the land use, and the beneficial environmental aspects of perennial biomass crops. Multi-market price feedbacks tied to realistic policy parameters predict high threshold absolute prices for biomass to enter production, resulting in intensified production of biomass from annual grain crops with damaging environmental impacts. Multi-market feedbacks also predict regional specialization in energy biomass production in areas with lower yields of food crops. Furthermore, policies promoting biofuels will not necessarily generate environmental benefits in the absence of environmental regulations.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Biomassa microbiana e atividade enzimática em solos sob vegetação nativa e sistemas agrícolas anuais e perenes na região de Primavera do Leste (MT Microbial biomass and enzyme activities in soils under native vegetation and under annual and perennial cropping systems at the Primavera do Leste region - Mato Grosso State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Matsuoka

    2003-06-01

    microbial biomass and enzyme activities in soils under native vegetation (known as "Cerradão" and in soils under annual and perennial cropping systems. Soil samples were collected, at the beginning of the rainy season, at two depths (0-5 and 5-20 cm in areas under a vineyard (row and between rows, annual crops (soybean and native vegetation. The parameters evaluated were soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC, readily mineralizable carbon (microbial respiration and the soil enzymes beta-glucosidase, acid phosphatase and arylsulfatase. In relation to the native area, at the two depths reductions of up to 70% in the MBC were observed in the annual and perennial cropping systems. The soil management conducted in the area between the rows of the vineyard along with the presence of the grass Eleusine indica, as a cover crop, favored an increase in the levels of readily mineralizable carbon, and the beta-glucosidase and arilsulfatase activities. The P content of the soil under Cerradão, at the two depths, reduced the levels of acid phosphatase activities as compared to other places of the Cerrados region. Nevertheless, at the 0-5 cm depth the phosphatase activity of the Cerradão area was greater than in the annual crops, showing the importance of this enzyme on organic P cycling in native ecosystems. The results confirmed the sensibility of microbiological and biochemical parameters to evaluate changes that occurred in soil as a consequence of different management systems.

  5. Genomic selection prediction accuracy in a perennial crop: case study of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cros, David; Denis, Marie; Sánchez, Leopoldo; Cochard, Benoit; Flori, Albert; Durand-Gasselin, Tristan; Nouy, Bruno; Omoré, Alphonse; Pomiès, Virginie; Riou, Virginie; Suryana, Edyana; Bouvet, Jean-Marc

    2015-03-01

    Genomic selection empirically appeared valuable for reciprocal recurrent selection in oil palm as it could account for family effects and Mendelian sampling terms, despite small populations and low marker density. Genomic selection (GS) can increase the genetic gain in plants. In perennial crops, this is expected mainly through shortened breeding cycles and increased selection intensity, which requires sufficient GS accuracy in selection candidates, despite often small training populations. Our objective was to obtain the first empirical estimate of GS accuracy in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), the major world oil crop. We used two parental populations involved in conventional reciprocal recurrent selection (Deli and Group B) with 131 individuals each, genotyped with 265 SSR. We estimated within-population GS accuracies when predicting breeding values of non-progeny-tested individuals for eight yield traits. We used three methods to sample training sets and five statistical methods to estimate genomic breeding values. The results showed that GS could account for family effects and Mendelian sampling terms in Group B but only for family effects in Deli. Presumably, this difference between populations originated from their contrasting breeding history. The GS accuracy ranged from -0.41 to 0.94 and was positively correlated with the relationship between training and test sets. Training sets optimized with the so-called CDmean criterion gave the highest accuracies, ranging from 0.49 (pulp to fruit ratio in Group B) to 0.94 (fruit weight in Group B). The statistical methods did not affect the accuracy. Finally, Group B could be preselected for progeny tests by applying GS to key yield traits, therefore increasing the selection intensity. Our results should be valuable for breeding programs with small populations, long breeding cycles, or reduced effective size.

  6. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper: targeted use of genome resources for comparative grass genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben; Mayer, Klaus F X; Lübberstedt, Thomas; Byrne, Stephen; Frei, Ursula; Studer, Bruno

    2013-02-01

    Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous assignment of 3,315 out of 8,876 previously unmapped genes to the respective chromosomes. In total, the GenomeZipper incorporates 4,035 conserved grass gene loci, which were used for the first genome-wide sequence divergence analysis between perennial ryegrass, barley, Brachypodium, rice, and sorghum. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper is an ordered, information-rich genome scaffold, facilitating map-based cloning and genome assembly in perennial ryegrass and closely related Poaceae species. It also represents a milestone in describing synteny between perennial ryegrass and fully sequenced model grass genomes, thereby increasing our understanding of genome organization and evolution in the most important temperate forage and turf grass species.

  7. Landscape control of nitrous oxide emissions during the transition from conservation reserve program to perennial grasses for bioenergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debasish Saha; Benjamin M. Rau; Jason P. Kaye; Felipe Montes; Paul R. Adler; Armen R. Kemanian

    2016-01-01

    Future liquid fuel demand from renewable sources may, in part, be met by converting the seasonally wet portions of the landscape currently managed for soil and water conservation to perennial energy crops. However, this shift may increase nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, thus limiting the carbon (C) benefits of energy crops. Particularly high emissions may occur during...

  8. Evaluation of Bioenergy Crop Growth and the Impacts Of Bioenergy Crops on Streamflow, Tile Drain Flow and Nutrient Losses Using SWAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, T.; Raj, C.; Chaubey, I.; Gitau, M. W.; Arnold, J. G.; Srinivasan, R.; Kiniry, J. R.; Engel, B.

    2016-12-01

    Bioenery crops are expected to produce large quantities of biofuel at a national scale to meet US biofuel goals. It is important to study bioenergy crop growth and the impacts on water quantity and quality to identify environment-friendly and productive biofeedstocks. In this study, SWAT2012 with a new tile drainage routine (DRAINMOD routine) and improved perennial grass and tree growth simulation was used to model long-term annual biomass yields, streamflow, tile flow, sediment load, total nitrogen, nitrate load in flow, nitrate in tile flow, soluble nitrogen, organic nitrogen, total phosphorus, mineral phosphorus and organic phosphorus under various bioenergy scenarios in an extensively agricultural watershed in the Midwestern US. The results showed that simulated annual crop yields matched with observed county level values for corn and soybeans, and were reasonable for Miscanthus, switchgrass and hybrid poplar. Removal of 38% of corn stover (66,439 Mg/yr) with Miscanthus production on highly erodible areas and marginal land (19,039 Mg/yr) provided the highest biofeedstock production. Streamflow, tile flow, erosion and nutrient losses were reduced under bioenergy crop scenarios of Miscanthus, switchgrass, and hybrid poplar on highly erodible areas, marginal land. Corn stover removal did not result in significant water quality changes. The increase in sediment load and nutrient losses under corn stover removal could be offset with production of other bioenergy crops. The study showed that corn stover removal with bioenergy crops both on highly erodible areas and marginal land could provide more biofuel production relative to the baseline, and was beneficial to hydrology and water quality at the watershed scale, providing guidance for further research on evaluation of bioenergy crop scenarios in a typical extensively tile-drained watershed in the Midwestern U.S.

  9. 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.

  10. The regional environmental impact of biomass production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graham, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to present a broad overview of the potential environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops. The subject 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 the 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 energy crops. I present an approach for quantitatively evaluating the potential environmental impact of growing energy crops at a regional scale that accounts for the environmental and economic context of the crops. However, to set the stage for this discussion, I 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

  11. Evaluating a biomass resource: The TVA region-wide biomass resource assessment model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Downing, M.; Graham, R.L.

    1993-01-01

    Wood is an alterative fuel for electric power generation at coal-fired plants in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region. Short rotation wood energy crops (SRWC) could provide a source of this woody biomass. However, the economic and supply structures of SRWC markets have not been established. Establishing the likely price and supply of SRWC biomass in a region is a complex task because biomass is not an established commodity as are oil, natural gas and coal. In this study we project the cost and supply of short-rotation woody biomass for the TVA region -- a 276 county area that includes all of Tennessee and portions of 10 contiguous states in the southeastern United States. Projected prices and quantities of SRWC are assumed to be a function of the amount and quality of crop and pasture land available in a region. expected SRWC yields and production costs on differing soils and land types, and the profit that could be obtained from current conventional crop production on these same lands. Results include the supply curve of SRWC biomass that is projected to be available from the entire region, the amount and location of crop and pasture land that would be used, and the conventional agricultural crops that would be displaced as a function of SRWC production. Finally, we show the results of sensitivity analysis on the projected cost and supply of SRWC biomass. In particular, we examine the separate impacts of varying SRWC production yields

  12. The Perennial Ryegrass GenomeZipper – Targeted Use of Genome Resources for Comparative Grass Genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfeiffer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben

    2013-01-01

    (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold......Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass...... to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous...

  13. Targets and tools for optimizing lignocellulosic biomass quality of miscanthus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijde, van der R.T.

    2016-01-01

    Miscanthus is a perennial energy grass characterized by a high productivity and resource-use efficiency, making it an ideal biomass feedstock for the production of cellulosic biofuels and a wide range of other biobased value-chains. However, the large-scale commercialization of converting biomass

  14. Potential phytoextraction and phytostabilization of perennial peanut on copper-contaminated vineyard soils and copper mining waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreazza, Robson; Bortolon, Leandro; Pieniz, Simone; Giacometti, Marcelo; Roehrs, Dione D; Lambais, Mácio R; Camargo, Flávio A O

    2011-12-01

    This study sought to evaluate the potential of perennial peanut (Arachis pintoi) for copper phytoremediation in vineyard soils (Inceptisol and Mollisol) contaminated with copper and copper mining waste. Our results showed high phytomass production of perennial peanut in both vineyard soils. Macronutrient uptakes were not negatively affected by perennial peanut cultivated in all contaminated soils. Plants cultivated in Mollisol showed high copper concentrations in the roots and shoots of 475 and 52 mg kg(-1), respectively. Perennial peanut plants showed low translocation factor values for Cu, although these plants showed high bioaccumulation factor (BCF) for both vineyard soils, Inceptisol and Mollisol, with BCF values of 3.83 and 3.24, respectively, being characterized as a copper hyperaccumulator plant in these soils. Copper phytoextraction from Inceptisol soil was the highest for both roots and entire plant biomass, with more than 800 mg kg(-1) of copper in whole plant. The highest potential copper phytoextraction by perennial peanut was in Inceptisol soil with copper removal of 2,500 g ha(-1). Also, perennial peanut showed high potential for copper phytoremoval in copper mining waste and Mollisol with 1,700 and 1,500 g of copper per hectare, respectively. In addition, perennial peanuts characterized high potential for phytoextraction and phytostabilization of copper in vineyard soils and copper mining waste.

  15. Nitrogen cycling in summer active perennial grass systems in South Australia: Non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gupta, V.V.S.R.; Kroker, S.J.; Hicks, M.; Davoren, W.; Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Llewellyn, R.

    2014-01-01

    Non-symbiotic nitrogen (N2) fixation by diazotrophic bacteria is a potential source for biological N inputs in non-leguminous crops and pastures. Perennial grasses generally add larger quantities of above- and belowground plant residues to soil, and so can support higher levels of soil biological

  16. Genetic variation, population structure, and linkage disequilibrium in European elite germplasm of perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brazauskas, Gintaras; Lenk, Ingo; Pedersen, Morten Greve

    2011-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is a highly valued temperate climate grass species grown as forage crop and for amenity uses. Due to its outbreeding nature and recent domestication, a high degree of genetic diversity is expected among cultivars. The aim of this study was to assess the extent...... of linkage disequilibrium (LD) within European elite germplasm and to evaluate the appropriate methodology for genetic association mapping in perennial ryegrass. A high level of genetic diversity was observed in a set of 380 perennial ryegrass elite genotypes when genotyped with 40 SSRs and 2 STS markers...... and occurred within 0.4 cM across European varieties, when population structure was taken into consideration. However, an extended LD of up to 6.6 cM was detected within the variety Aberdart. High genetic diversity and rapid LD decay provide means for high resolution association mapping in elite materials...

  17. Path and correlation analysis of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) seed yield components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abel, Simon; Gislum, René; Boelt, Birte

    2017-01-01

    Maximum perennial ryegrass seed production potential is substantially greater than harvested yields with harvested yields representing only 20% of calculated potential. Similar to wheat, maize and other agriculturally important crops, seed yield is highly dependent on a number of interacting seed...... yield components. This research was performed to apply and describe path analysis of perennial ryegrass seed yield components in relation to harvested seed yields. Utilising extensive yield components which included subdividing reproductive inflorescences into five size categories, path analysis...... was undertaken assuming a unidirectional causal-admissible relationship between seed yield components and harvested seed yield in six commercial seed production fields. Both spikelets per inflorescence and florets per spikelet had a significant (p seed yield; however, total...

  18. Growth and Metal Accumulation of an Alyssum murale Nickel Hyperaccumulator Ecotype Co-cropped with Alyssum montanum and Perennial Ryegrass in Serpentine Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Leigh Broadhurst

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The genus Alyssum (Brassicaceae contains Ni hyperaccumulators (50, many of which can achieve 30 g kg-1 Ni in dry leaf. Some Alyssum hyperaccumulators are viable candidates for commercial Ni phytoremediation and phytomining technologies. It is not known whether these species secrete organic and/or amino acids into the rhizosphere to solubilize Ni, or can make use of such acids within the soil to facilitate uptake. It has been hypothesized that in fields with mixed plant species, mobilization of metals by phytosiderophores secreted by Graminaceae plants could affect Alyssum Ni, Fe, Cu and Mn uptake.We co-cropped the Ni hyperaccumulator Alyssum murale, non-hyperaccumulator A. montanum and perennial ryegrass in a natural serpentine soil. All treatments had standard inorganic fertilization required for ryegrass growth and one treatment was compost amended. After 4 months A. murale leaves and stems contained 3600 mg kg-1 Ni which did not differ significantly with co-cropping. Overall Ni and Mn concentrations were significantly higher in A. murale than in A. montanum or L. perenne. Copper was not accumulated by either Alyssum species, but L. perenne accumulated up to 10 mg kg-1. A. montanum could not compete with either A. murale or ryegrass, and neither Alyssum species survived in the compost-amended soil. Co-cropping with ryegrass reduced Fe and Mn concentrations in A. murale but not to the extent of either increasing Ni uptake or affecting plant nutrition. The hypothesized Alyssum Ni accumulation in response to phytosiderophores secreted by co-cropped grass did not occur. Our data do not support increased mobilization of Mn by a phytosiderophore mechanism either, but the converse: mobilization of Mn by the Alyssum hyperaccumulator species significantly increased Mn levels in L. perenne. Tilling soil to maximize root penetration, adequate inorganic fertilization and appropriate plant densities are more important for developing efficient

  19. Planting Date and Seeding Rate Effects on Sunn Hemp Biomass and Nitrogen Production for a Winter Cover Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kipling S. Balkcom

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L. is a tropical legume that produces plant biomass and nitrogen (N quickly. Our objectives were to assess the growth of a new sunn hemp cultivar breed to produce seed in a temperate climate and determine the residual N effect on a rye (Secale cereale L. cover crop in east-central Alabama from 2007 to 2009. Plant populations, plant height, stem diameter, biomass production, and N content were determined for two sunn hemp planting dates, following corn (Zea mays L. and wheat (Triticum aestivum L. harvest, across different seeding rates (17, 34, 50, and 67 kg/ha. Rye biomass was measured the following spring. Sunn hemp biomass production was inconsistent across planting dates, but did relate to growing degree accumulation. Nitrogen concentrations were inversely related to biomass production, and subsequent N contents corresponded to biomass levels. Neither planting date nor seeding rate affected rye biomass production, but rye biomass averaged over both planting dates following wheat/sunn hemp averaged 43% and 33% greater than rye following fallow. Rye biomass following corn/sunn hemp was equivalent to fallow plots. Early planting dates are recommended for sunn hemp with seeding rates between 17 and 34 kg/ha to maximize biomass and N production.

  20. Switchgrass as a biofuels crop for the upper Southeast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parrish, D.J.; Wolf, D.D. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified in DOE-sponsored studies as a widely adapted, productive herbaceous candidate for biofuels cropping. It is a perennial that has been planted using no-till procedures, and it appears to have positive effects on the soils in which it grows. We have been looking at this species as a potential fuelcrop (as well as a valuable forage) for several years. In this presentation, we note several {open_quotes}lessons learned{close_quotes} about switchgrass establishment and management as an energy crop. Data include results from recent plantings in the upper Southeast USA and from cutting management studies. Six varieties of switchgrass (Alamo, Cave-in-Rock, Kanlow, Shelter, and two breeder`s lines) varied markedly in the success of their no-till establishment at eight locations across the upper Southeast. Better weed control, which was achieved at later planting dates, seemed to be the key. Yields obtained in the establishment stands revealed that two harvests per season are more productive (by 2 to 3 Mg/ha) than one, but the date of first cutting is crucial. First cutting should be from late-June to mid-July. A two-cut system may not be economically advantageous, however. Another cutting-management study detected losses of standing biomass at the end of the growing season. As much as 15% of the above-ground biomass present in early-September was no longer harvestable in early-November. We think this loss results from translocation of dry matter to below-ground parts.

  1. Perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) contains polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and PPO substrates that can reduce post-harvest proteolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Michael L; Foster, Jamie L

    2013-08-15

    Studies of perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) suggest its hay and haylage have greater levels of rumen undegraded protein (RUP) than other legume forages such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Greater RUP can result in more efficient nitrogen utilization by ruminant animals with positive economic and environmental effects. We sought to determine whether, like red clover (Trifolium pretense L.), perennial peanut contains polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and PPO substrates that might be responsible for increased RUP. Perennial peanut extracts contain immunologically detectible PPO protein and high levels of PPO activity (>100 nkatal mg(-1) protein). Addition of caffeic acid (PPO substrate) to perennial peanut extracts depleted of endogenous substrates reduced proteolysis by 90%. Addition of phenolics prepared from perennial peanut leaves to extracts of either transgenic PPO-expressing or control (non-expressing) alfalfa showed peanut phenolics could reduce proteolysis >70% in a PPO-dependent manner. Two abundant likely PPO substrates are present in perennial peanut leaves including caftaric acid. Perennial peanut contains PPO and PPO substrates that together are capable of inhibiting post-harvest proteolysis, suggesting a possible mechanism for increased RUP in this forage. Research related to optimizing the PPO system in other forage crops will likely be applicable to perennial peanut. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  2. Farming strategies to feed people, facilitate essential soil services, and fuel the economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial cellulosic biomass and food crop residues are important on-farm resources, which have become potential valuable sources of income as a harvestable commodity contributing to biofuel production demands. Inputs of carbon embedded in above-ground plant biomass are a key biological energy sourc...

  3. Comparison of Arundo donax L. and Miscanthus x giganteus in a long-term field experiment in Central Italy: Analysis of productive characteristics and energy balance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angelini, Luciana G.; Ceccarini, Lucia; Nassi o Di Nasso, Nicoletta; Bonari, Enrico

    2009-01-01

    Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) and Arundo donax L. (giant reed) are two perennial crops which have been received particular attention during the last decade as bioenergy crops. The main aim of the present study was to compare the above-ground biomass production and the energy balance of these perennial rhizomatous grasses in a long-term field experiment. The crops were cultivated from 1992 to 2003 in the temperate climate of Central Italy with 20,000 plants ha -1 , 100-100-100 kg N, P 2 O 5 , K 2 O per hectare, and without irrigation supply. For each year of trial, biomass was harvested in autumn to estimate biometric characteristics and productive parameters. Besides, energy analysis of biomass production was carried out determining energy output, energy input, energy efficiency (output/input) and net energy yield (output-input). Results showed high above-ground biomass yields over a period of 10 years for both species, with better productive performances in giant reed than in miscanthus (37.7 t DM ha -1 year -1 vs 28.7 t DM ha -1 year -1 averaged from 2 to 12 years of growth). Such high yields resulted positively correlated to number of stalks (miscanthus), plant height and stalk diameter (giant reed). Moreover, these perennial species are characterised by a favourable energy balance with a net energy yield of 467 and 637 GJ ha -1 (1-12 year mean) for miscanthus and giant reed respectively. With such characteristics, both grasses could be proposed as biomass energy crops in Southern Europe with a significant and environmentally compatible contribution to energy needs

  4. Comparison of Arundo donax L. and Miscanthus x giganteus in a long-term field experiment in Central Italy: Analysis of productive characteristics and energy balance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Angelini, Luciana G.; Ceccarini, Lucia; Nassi o Di Nasso, Nicoletta [University of Pisa, Dipartimento di Agronomia e Gestione dell' Agroecosistema, Via S. Michele degli Scalzi 2, 56100 Pisa (Italy); Bonari, Enrico [Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna, Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33, 56100 Pisa (Italy)

    2009-04-15

    Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) and Arundo donax L. (giant reed) are two perennial crops which have been received particular attention during the last decade as bioenergy crops. The main aim of the present study was to compare the above-ground biomass production and the energy balance of these perennial rhizomatous grasses in a long-term field experiment. The crops were cultivated from 1992 to 2003 in the temperate climate of Central Italy with 20,000 plants ha{sup -1}, 100-100-100 kg N, P{sub 2}O{sub 5}, K{sub 2}O per hectare, and without irrigation supply. For each year of trial, biomass was harvested in autumn to estimate biometric characteristics and productive parameters. Besides, energy analysis of biomass production was carried out determining energy output, energy input, energy efficiency (output/input) and net energy yield (output-input). Results showed high above-ground biomass yields over a period of 10 years for both species, with better productive performances in giant reed than in miscanthus (37.7 t DM ha{sup -1} year{sup -1}vs 28.7 t DM ha{sup -1} year{sup -1} averaged from 2 to 12 years of growth). Such high yields resulted positively correlated to number of stalks (miscanthus), plant height and stalk diameter (giant reed). Moreover, these perennial species are characterised by a favourable energy balance with a net energy yield of 467 and 637 GJ ha{sup -1} (1-12 year mean) for miscanthus and giant reed respectively. With such characteristics, both grasses could be proposed as biomass energy crops in Southern Europe with a significant and environmentally compatible contribution to energy needs. (author)

  5. Crude protein yield and theoretical extractable true protein of potential biorefinery feedstocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solati, Zeinab; Manevski, Kiril; Jørgensen, Uffe

    2018-01-01

    for supplying biomass to biorefineries. Field experiments during 2013–2014 with perennial crops (pure grasses: cocksfoot, festulolium, reed canary, tall fescue, two miscanthus species and two grass-legume mixtures) and annual crops in optimized rotations (winter rye, sugar beet, maize, triticale, hemp and grass...

  6. 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...

  7. Utilization of sunflower crop wild relatives for cultivated sunflower improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is one of the few crops native to the U.S. The current USDA-ARS-NPGS crop wild relatives sunflower collection is the largest extant collection in the world, containing 2,519 accessions comprised of 53 species; 39 perennial and 14 annual. To fully utilize gene bank co...

  8. Inoculation and inter-cropping of legumes in established grass for increasing biomass of fodder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ullah, M.A.; Hussain, N.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock sector has become very important component of agriculture sector in the world due to variety of dairy and meat products and high income to the farmers. In Pakistan, this vast resource faces many crucial challenges like low quality and high priced feed and fodder and limited chances of increasing area under fodders due to competition for food crops. Intercropping (33%, 50% and 67%) of Panicum maximum grass and legumes (Vicia sativa and cowpeas) coupled with inoculation was studied under rainfed conditions at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) Islamabad, Pakistan. Intercropping significantly increased tillering of grass. Seed inoculation of legumes also gave maximum tillers. The grass and legumes biomass without any treatment were recorded as 7.09 and -18.17 t ha, respectively, during two years of study. Mixed fodder -1 production increased to 11.62, 13.6 and 14.13 t ha with 33%, 50% and 67% intercropping, respectively. Respective values of biomass were -1 observed as 13.18, 13.70 and 17.87 t ha when combined with inoculation. Intercropping of grass and legumes 67% with inoculation was assessed as the best treatment. The increases were computed as 304%, 230%, 132%, and 60% over grass alone in the first, second, third and fourth crops while respective increases were 101%, 151%, 165% and 74% over monoculture legumes. (author)

  9. Comparison of selected parameters of biomass and coal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalak, Justyna; Martyniak, Danuta; Kasprzycka, Agnieszka; Żurek, Grzegorz; Moroń, Wojciech; Chmielewska, Mariola; Wiącek, Dariusz; Tys, Jerzy

    2016-10-01

    As a fuel, biomass differs in its properties from fossil fuels and acquisition thereof for energy purposes is limited; hence, the ongoing search for new bioenergetically useful plants. The article presents the results of physical and chemical analyses of seven species of perennial grasses: tall wheatgrass, tall wheatgrass `Bamar', brome grass, tall fescue ecotype, reed canary grass, giant miscanthus, and sorghum. The research involved technical and elemental analysis as well as analysis of the ash composition performed in order to determine their potential use for combustion process. The measurement results were compared with those obtained for hard coal and agricultural biomass, which is widely used in the energy industry. The results suggest that perennial grasses can successfully be combusted with similar performance to coal if burned in appropriate combustion installations.

  10. Sustainable commercialization of new crops for the agricultural bioeconomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.R. Jordan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Diversification of agroecological systems to enhance agrobiodiversity is likely to be critical to advancing environmental, economic, and social sustainability of agriculture. Temperate-zone agroecological systems that are currently organized for production of summer-annual crops can be diversified by integration of fallow-season and perennial crops. Integration of such crops can improve sustainability of these agroecological systems, with minimal interference with current agricultural production. Importantly, these crops can provide feedstocks for a wide range of new bio-products that are forming a new agricultural bioeconomy, potentially providing greatly increased economic incentives for diversification. However, while there are many fallow-season and perennial crops that might be used in such a “bioeconomic” strategy for diversification, most are not yet well adapted and highly-marketable. Efforts are underway to enhance adaptation and marketability of many such crops. Critically, these efforts require a strategic approach that addresses the inherent complexity of these projects. We outline a suitable approach, which we term “sustainable commercialization”: a coordinated innovation process that integrates a new crop into the agriculture of a region, while intentionally addressing economic, environmental and social sustainability challenges via multi-stakeholder governance. This approach centers on a concerted effort to coordinate and govern innovation in three critical areas: germplasm development, multifunctional agroecosystem design and management, and development of end uses, supply chains, and markets. To exemplify the approach, we describe an ongoing effort to commercialize a new fallow-season crop, field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L..

  11. Assessing the Effect of Prometryn Soil Residue on Soil Microbial Biomass and Different Crops using Bioassay Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    mohamad taghi alebrahim

    2016-09-01

    after germination. The pots were kept for 30 days under controlled conditions. Shoot and root biomass production was measured 30 days after emergence. At harvest, growth parameters including the dry weight of shoots and roots were determined. The data were subjected to analysis of variance by computer facilities, using Mstatc software. Plant response to prometryn residues was fitted with sigmoidal 3 and 4 parametric equations to the shoot biomass data as a function of the herbicide residue concentrations and was used to calculate the doses for 50% inhibition of shoot growth (ED50. In another experiment the effect of prometryn concentrations (0, 0.0033, 0.0166, 0.033, 0.066, 0.1 and 0.166 mg. kg-1soil on soil microbial activity was determined using titration method in controlled conditions. Results and Discussion: Plant response to increasing concentration of prometryn, in general, followed a classical dose response relationship. The logistic model fitted well to the root and shoot plants response herbicide concentrations. Results showed that the shoot and root dry matter were significantly affected by increasing prometryn soil residue in all crops (plettuce>beet>barely. Based on the mechanism of action of prometryn and its best efficiency on board leaf plants control, the least biomass reduction obtained for barley is understandable. In general, this is safe to plant a susceptible species if the plant-available residue were less than the species ED10 value, and there would be a great risk for different levels of crop damage if the plant-available residue were higher than ED50 values of the species. Comparisons between species allow the safe selection of a crop that has a critical ED50 level lower than the residue level in the soil. Alternatively, planting a sensitive species could be delayed until the residue level in the soil is less than the critical level. In the Southwest areas of Iran, these crops are often sown few months after the application of a residual

  12. Environmental Performance of Miscanthus, Switchgrass and Maize: Can C4 Perennials Increase the Sustainability of Biogas Production?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Kiesel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Biogas is considered a promising option for complementing the fluctuating energy supply from other renewable sources. Maize is currently the dominant biogas crop, but its environmental performance is questionable. Through its replacement with high-yielding and nutrient-efficient perennial C4 grasses, the environmental impact of biogas could be considerably improved. The objective of this paper is to assess and compare the environmental performance of the biogas production and utilization of perennial miscanthus and switchgrass and annual maize. An LCA was performed using data from field trials, assessing the impact in the five categories: climate change (CC, fossil fuel depletion (FFD, terrestrial acidification (TA, freshwater eutrophication (FE and marine eutrophication (ME. A system expansion approach was adopted to include a fossil reference. All three crops showed significantly lower CC and FFD potentials than the fossil reference, but higher TA and FE potentials, with nitrogen fertilizer production and fertilizer-induced emissions identified as hot spots. Miscanthus performed best and changing the input substrate from maize to miscanthus led to average reductions of −66% CC; −74% FFD; −63% FE; −60% ME and −21% TA. These results show that perennial C4 grasses and miscanthus in particular have the potential to improve the sustainability of the biogas sector.

  13. 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.

  14. Genetic and ecological characteristics of Miscanthus in eastern Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miscanthus is a genus of perennial C4 grasses native to East Asia, which includes the emerging ligno-cellulosic biomass crop M. xgiganteus, a hybrid between M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Cold tolerance is of particular interest in Miscanthus, given that this crop is more adapted to temperate c...

  15. The Perennial Ryegrass GenomeZipper: Targeted Use of Genome Resources for Comparative Grass Genomics1[C][W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben; Mayer, Klaus F.X.; Lübberstedt, Thomas; Byrne, Stephen; Frei, Ursula; Studer, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous assignment of 3,315 out of 8,876 previously unmapped genes to the respective chromosomes. In total, the GenomeZipper incorporates 4,035 conserved grass gene loci, which were used for the first genome-wide sequence divergence analysis between perennial ryegrass, barley, Brachypodium, rice, and sorghum. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper is an ordered, information-rich genome scaffold, facilitating map-based cloning and genome assembly in perennial ryegrass and closely related Poaceae species. It also represents a milestone in describing synteny between perennial ryegrass and fully sequenced model grass genomes, thereby increasing our understanding of genome organization and evolution in the most important temperate forage and turf grass species. PMID:23184232

  16. The Effect of Heavy Metal Contaminated Soil on Growth and Development of Perennial Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Żurek G.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Contamination of agricultural land in Poland by heavy metals is not a general problem but is limited to industrial areas. In regions of long history of industrial emission, of elevated levels of lead, cadmium, zinc and other ions during coal and ore mining and processing, as for example in Silesia, about 10 % of agricultural land may be characterized by exceeded maximum residue limits for Cd, Pb, Cu, Ni and Zn ions. Since the maintenance of agricultural areas in those regions is important from an ecological standpoint, the alternative farming activities are needed. Perennial grass biomass production for energy purposes is currently the best solution for majority of agricultural areas not suitable for food production in Poland. Along with increasing knowledge on separation and utilization of heavy metals (HM during and after biomass processing, phytoremediation of polluted soils will become important and valuable. To detect the effect of soil HM ions concentration on growth and development of selected, tall growing and high biomass yielding perennial grass cultivars, the chlorophyll fluorescence parameters were registered. The elevated content of Pb, Cd and Zn ions in soil influenced on decrease of: minimal (Fo, maximal (Fm and variable (Fv fluorescence level as well as on total complementary area on a diagram of chlorophyll a fluorescence induction curve (Area. Based on detected parameters it was concluded, that the high level of HM ions in soils negatively affected the efficiency of photosynthesis. Therefore, plant growth, as well as development of generative shoots and finally the biomass yield were reduced in some cultivars. Among tested cultivars different reaction for HM ions in polluted soil were noted: from only slightly modified parameters of photosynthesis and unreduced yield (Elytrigia elongata cv. Bamar and Arrhenatherum elatius cv. Wiwena to significantly reduced Fo, Fv, Fm and biomass yield (Bromus carinathus cv. Broma and Bromus

  17. 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)

  18. Linking phytoremediated pollutant removal to biomass economic opportunities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Licht, Louis A.; Isebrands, J.G.

    2005-01-01

    Phytoremediation (phyto) strategies employ trees, shrubs, and/or grasses for treating contaminated air, soil, or water. These strategies include buffers, vegetation filters, in situ phytoremediation plantings, and percolation controlling vegetative caps. The design parameter that separates phytoremediation from landscaping is purposefully placing and growing a root-zone reactor volume with predictable pollutant removal performance. This phyto reactor integrates with other engineered systems to cover landfills, treat petrochemical spills in soils, intercept a soluble subsurface plume, and capture non-point surface sediment entrained in urban or field runoff. There are many potential economic opportunities for biomass associated with phytoremediation, including bioenergy and traditional industrial products such as solid wood products and reconstituted products (i.e., paper, chip board, laminated beams, extruded trim). More intangibly, phyto creates environmental benefits such as soil erosion control, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat. Phyto also creates socio-economic benefits by diversify regional manufacturing into new products that employs local labor, thus building value-added industry. Alternative crops develop a greater diversity of products from the farmland, making the regional economy less exposed to global commodity crop price fluctuations. Thus, a strategic phyto treatment of non-point agricultural runoff would help diversify land use from annually tilled crops (corn, soybeans, wheat) into perennial, untilled tree crops. A landscape rebuilt using phyto would create diversity represented in business potential, healthier air and water, wildlife habitat, and aesthetics. Moreover, phyto provides local and current pollutant treatment. Such timely treatment of pollutants that would otherwise move to our downstream or downwind neighbors is key to the environmental justice concept. We present four case study summaries to illustrate installed commercial

  19. Linking phytoremediated pollutant removal to biomass economic opportunities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Licht, Louis A.; Isebrands, J.G.

    2005-01-01

    Phytoremediation (phyto) strategies employ trees, shrubs, and/or grasses for treating contaminated air, soil, or water. These strategies include buffers, vegetation filters, in situ phytoremediation plantings, and percolation controlling vegetative caps. The design parameter that separates phytoremediation from landscaping is purposefully placing and growing a root-zone reactor volume with predictable pollutant removal performance. This phyto reactor integrates with other engineered systems to cover landfills, treat petrochemical spills in soils, intercept a soluble subsurface plume, and capture non-point surface sediment entrained in urban or field runoff. There are many potential economic opportunities for biomass associated with phytoremediation, including bioenergy and traditional industrial products such as solid wood products and reconstituted products (i.e., paper, chip board, laminated beams, extruded trim). More intangibly, phyto creates environmental benefits such as soil erosion control, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat. Phyto also creates socio-economic benefits by diversify regional manufacturing into new products that employs local labor, thus building value-added industry. Alternative crops develop a greater diversity of products from the farmland, making the regional economy less exposed to global commodity crop price fluctuations. Thus, a strategic phyto treatment of non-point agricultural runoff would help diversify land use from annually tilled crops (corn, soybeans, wheat) into perennial, untilled tree crops. A landscape rebuilt using phyto would create diversity represented in business potential, healthier air and water, wildlife habitat, and aesthetics. Moreover, phyto provides local and current pollutant treatment. Such timely treatment of pollutants that would otherwise move to our downstream or downwind neighbors is key to the environmental justice concept. We present four case study summaries to illustrate installed commercial

  20. Impact of feedstock, land use change, and soil organic carbon on energy and greenhouse gas performance of biomass cogeneration technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Njakou Djomo, S.; Witters, N.; Van Dael, M.; Gabrielle, B.; Ceulemans, R.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Comparison of 40 bioenergy pathways to a fossil-fuel based CHP system. • Not all energy efficient pathways led to lower GHG emissions. • iLUC through intensification increased the total energy input and GHG emissions. • Fluidized bed technologies maximize the energy and GHG benefits of all pathways. • Perennial crops are in some cases better than residues on GHG emissions criteria. - Abstract: Bioenergy (i.e., bioheat and bioelectricity) could simultaneously address energy insecurity and climate change. However, bioenergy’s impact on climate change remains incomplete when land use changes (LUC), soil organic carbon (SOC) changes, and the auxiliary energy consumption are not accounted for in the life cycle. Using data collected from Belgian farmers, combined heat and power (CHP) operators, and a life cycle approach, we compared 40 bioenergy pathways to a fossil-fuel CHP system. Bioenergy required between 0.024 and 0.204 MJ (0.86 MJ th + 0.14 MJ el ) −1 , and the estimated energy ratio (energy output-to-input ratio) ranged from 5 to 42. SOC loss increased the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of residue based bioenergy. On average, the iLUC represented ∼67% of the total GHG emissions of bioenergy from perennial energy crops. However, the net LUC (i.e., dLUC + iLUC) effects substantially reduced the GHG emissions incurred during all phases of bioenergy production from perennial crops, turning most pathways based on energy crops to GHG sinks. Relative to fossil-fuel based CHP all bioenergy pathways reduced GHG emissions by 8–114%. Fluidized bed technologies maximize the energy and the GHG benefits of all pathways. The size and the power-to-heat ratio for a given CHP influenced the energy and GHG performance of these bioenergy pathways. Even with the inclusion of LUC, perennial crops had better GHG performance than agricultural and forest residues. Perennial crops have a high potential in the multidimensional approach to increase energy

  1. Potential of sustainable biomass production systems in Texas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanderson, M.A.; Hussey, M.A.; Wiselogel, A.E.

    1992-01-01

    Biomass production for liquid fuels feedstock from systems based on warm-season perennial grasses (WSPG) offers a sustainable alternative for forage-livestock producers in Texas. Such systems also would enhance diversity and flexibility in current production systems. Research is needed to incorporate biomass production for liquid fuels, chemicals, and electrical power into current forage-livestock management systems. Our research objectives were to (i) document the potential of several WSPG in diverse Texas environments for biomass feedstock production, (ii) conduct fundamental research on morphological development of WSPG to enhance management for biomass feedstock production, (iii) examine current on-farm production systems for opportunities to incorporate biomass production, and (iv) determine feedstock quality and stability during storage

  2. The Performance of Early-Generation Perennial Winter Cereals at 21 Sites across Four Continents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard C. Hayes

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available A network of 21 experiments was established across nine countries on four continents and spanning both hemispheres, to evaluate the relative performance of early generation perennial cereal material derived from wheat, rye, and barley and to inform future breeding strategies. The experimental lines were grown in replicated single rows, and first year production and phenology characteristics as well as yield and persistence for up to three years were monitored. The study showed that the existing experimental material is all relatively short-lived (≤3 years, with environments that are milder in summer and winter generally conferring greater longevity. No pedigree was superior across this diverse network of sites although better performing lines at the higher latitude sites were generally derived from Thinopyrum intermedium. By contrast, at lower latitudes the superior lines were generally derived from Th. ponticum and Th. elongatum parentage. The study observed a poor relationship between year 1 performance and productivity in later years, highlighting the need for perennial cereal material with greater longevity to underpin future experimental evaluation, and the importance for breeding programs to emphasize post-year 1 performance in their selections. Hybrid lines derived from the tetraploid durum wheat generally showed greater longevity than derivatives of hexaploid wheat, highlighting potential for greater use of Triticum turgidum in perennial wheat breeding. We advocate a model in future breeding initiatives that develops perennial cereal genotypes for specific target environments rather than a generic product for one global market. These products may include a diversity of cultivars derived from locally adapted annual and perennial parents. In this scenario the breeding program may have access to only a limited range of adapted perennial grass parents. In other situations, such as at very high latitude environments, perennial crops derived

  3. Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland-to-cropland conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaobo Zhou; Matthew J. Helmers; Heidi Asbjornsen; Randy Kolka; Mark D. Tomer

    2010-01-01

    Many croplands planted to perennial grasses under the Conservation Reserve Program are being returned to crop production, and with potential consequences for water quality. The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of grassland-to-cropland conversion on nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in soil and shallow groundwater and to...

  4. The effect of D123 wheat as a companion crop on soil enzyme activities, microbial biomass and microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Weihui; Wang, Zhigang; Wu, Fengzhi

    2015-01-01

    The growth of watermelon is often threatened by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (Fon) in successively monocultured soil, which results in economic loss. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of D123 wheat as a companion crop on soil enzyme activities, microbial biomass and microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon and to explore the relationship between the effect and the incidence of wilt caused by Fon. The results showed that the activities of soil polyphenol oxidase, urease and invertase were increased, the microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN) and microbial biomass phosphorus (MBP) were significantly increased, and the ratio of MBC/MBN was decreased (P Fusarium wilt was also decreased in the watermelon/wheat companion system. In conclusion, this study indicated that D123 wheat as a companion crop increased soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass, decreased the Fon population, and changed the relative abundance of microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon, which may be related to the reduction of Fusarium wilt in the watermelon/wheat companion system.

  5. Driftless Area Initiative Biomass Energy Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Angie [Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, Inc., Postville, IA (United States); Bertjens, Steve [Natural Resources Conservation Service, Madison, WI (United States); Lieurance, Mike [Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, Inc., Postville, IA (United States); Berguson, Bill [Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Natural Resources Research Inst.; Buchman, Dan [Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Natural Resources Research Inst.

    2012-12-31

    The Driftless Area Initiative Biomass Energy Project evaluated the potential for biomass energy production and utilization throughout the Driftless Region of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The research and demonstration aspect of the project specifically focused on biomass energy feedstock availability and production potential in the region, as well as utilization potential of biomass feedstocks for heat, electrical energy production, or combined heat and power operations. The Driftless Region was evaluated because the topography of the area offers more acres of marginal soils on steep slopes, wooded areas, and riparian corridors than the surrounding “Corn Belt”. These regional land characteristics were identified as potentially providing opportunity for biomass feedstock production that could compete with traditional agriculture commodity crops economically. The project researched establishment methods and costs for growing switchgrass on marginal agricultural lands to determine the economic and quantitative feasibility of switchgrass production for biomass energy purposes. The project was successful in identifying the best management and establishment practices for switchgrass in the Driftless Area, but also demonstrated that simple economic payback versus commodity crops could not be achieved at the time of the research. The project also analyzed the availability of woody biomass and production potential for growing woody biomass for large scale biomass energy production in the Driftless Area. Analysis determined that significant resources exist, but costs to harvest and deliver to the site were roughly 60% greater than that of natural gas at the time of the study. The project contributed significantly to identifying both production potential of biomass energy crops and existing feedstock availability in the Driftless Area. The project also analyzed the economic feasibility of dedicated energy crops in the Driftless Area. High commodity crop prices

  6. Plant-Herbivore and Plant-Pollinator Interactions of the Developing Perennial Oilseed Crop, Silphium integrifolium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasifka, J R; Mallinger, R E; Hulke, B S; Larson, S R; Van Tassel, D

    2017-12-08

    Sampling in Kansas and North Dakota documented the plant-herbivore and plant-pollinator interactions of the developing perennial oilseed crop, Silphium integrifolium Michx. The larva of the tortricid moth, Eucosma giganteana (Riley), was the most damaging floret- and seed-feeding pest in Kansas, with infested heads producing ≈85% (2015) or ≈45% (2016) fewer seeds than apparently undamaged heads. Necrosis of apical meristems caused stunting and delayed bloom in Kansas; though the source of the necrosis is not known, observations of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois; Hemiptera: Miridae), in S. integrifolium terminals suggest a possible cause. In North Dakota, E. giganteana larvae were not found, but pupae of Neotephritis finalis (Loew; Diptera: Tephritidae), a minor pest of cultivated sunflower, were common in the heads of S. integrifolium. Bees appeared highly attracted to S. integrifolium, and in all but one observation, bees were seen actively collecting pollen. The most common bees included large apids (Apis mellifera L., Svastra obliqua [Say], Melissodes spp.) and small-bodied halictids (Lasioglossum [Dialictus] spp.). Controlled pollination experiments demonstrated that S. integrifolium is pollinator dependent, due to both mechanical barriers (imperfect florets and protogyny) and genetic self-incompatibility. Subsequent greenhouse tests and AFLP confirmation of putative self-progeny show that a low (<1%) level of self-pollination is possible. If genetic self-incompatibility is eventually reduced through breeding, mechanical barriers would maintain a reliance on bees to move pollen between male and female florets. Collectively, observations on S. integrifolium show that both herbivore and pollinator management are important to maximize seed production. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  7. 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

  8. Pest-suppression potential of midwestern landscapes under contrasting bioenergy scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy D Meehan

    Full Text Available Biomass crops grown on marginal soils are expected to fuel an emerging bioenergy industry in the United States. Bioenergy crop choice and position in the landscape could have important impacts on a range of ecosystem services, including natural pest-suppression (biocontrol services provided by predatory arthropods. In this study we use predation rates of three sentinel crop pests to develop a biocontrol index (BCI summarizing pest-suppression potential in corn and perennial grass-based bioenergy crops in southern Wisconsin, lower Michigan, and northern Illinois. We show that BCI is higher in perennial grasslands than in corn, and increases with the amount of perennial grassland in the surrounding landscape. We develop an empirical model for predicting BCI from information on energy crop and landscape characteristics, and use the model in a qualitative assessment of changes in biocontrol services for annual croplands on prime agricultural soils under two contrasting bioenergy scenarios. Our analysis suggests that the expansion of annual energy crops onto 1.2 million ha of existing perennial grasslands on marginal soils could reduce BCI between -10 and -64% for nearly half of the annual cropland in the region. In contrast, replacement of the 1.1 million ha of existing annual crops on marginal land with perennial energy crops could increase BCI by 13 to 205% on over half of the annual cropland in the region. Through comparisons with other independent studies, we find that our biocontrol index is negatively related to insecticide use across the Midwest, suggesting that strategically positioned, perennial bioenergy crops could reduce insect damage and insecticide use on neighboring food and forage crops. We suggest that properly validated environmental indices can be used in decision support systems to facilitate integrated assessments of the environmental and economic impacts of different bioenergy policies.

  9. Weed interference with peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) and spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) crops under different herbicide treatments: effects on biomass and essential oil yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karkanis, Anestis; Lykas, Christos; Liava, Vasiliki; Bezou, Anna; Petropoulos, Spyridon; Tsiropoulos, Nikolaos

    2018-01-01

    'Minor crops' such as spearmint and peppermint are high added value crops, despite the fact that their production area is comparably small worldwide. The main limiting factor in mint commercial cultivation is weed competition. Thus, field experiments were carried out to evaluate the effects of weed interference on growth, biomass and essential oil yield in peppermint and spearmint under different herbicide treatments. The application of pendimethalin and oxyfluorfen provided better control of annual weeds resulting in higher crop yield. Additionally, when treated with herbicides both crops were more competitive against annual weeds in the second year than in the first year. All pre-emergence herbicides increased biomass yield, since pendimethalin, linuron and oxyfluorfen reduced the density of annual weeds by 71-92%, 63-74% and 86-95%, respectively. Weed interference and herbicide application had no effect on essential oil content; however, a relatively strong impact on essential oil production per cultivated area unit was observed, mainly due to the adverse effect of weed interference on plant growth. Considering that pendimethalin and oxyfluorfen were effective against annual weeds in both spearmint and peppermint crops, these herbicides should be included in integrated weed management systems for better weed management in mint crops. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  10. Sustainable Production of Switchgrass for Biomass Energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a C4 grass native to the North American tallgrass prairies, which historically extended from Mexico to Canada. It is the model perennial warm-season grass for biomass energy. USDA-ARS in Lincoln, NE has studied switchgrass continuously since 1936. Plot-scale rese...

  11. Fructan metabolism and changes in fructan composition during cold acclimation in perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abeynayake, Shamila; Etzerodt, Thomas; Jonavičienė, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    . The ecotype ‘Falster’, adapted to cold climates, increased total fructan content and produced more fructans (DP˃7) in the roots than the variety ‘Veyo’, adapted to warmer climates suggesting that accumulation of fructans in roots, especially the high-DP fructans as an adaptive trait for plant recovery after......Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) produces high levels of fructans as a mixture of oligomers with different degrees of polymerization (DP). The present study describes the analysis of the compositional changes in the full spectrum of fructan oligomers, fructan distribution between above ground...... biomass (top) and the roots, and the transcription of candidate genes involved in fructan metabolism during cold acclimation in perennial ryegrass variety ‘Veyo’ and ecotype ‘Falster’ from distinct geographical origins. We observed changes in fructan composition and induction of low-DP fructans...

  12. Cultivation of high-biomass crops on coal mine spoil banks: Can microbial inoculation compensate for high doses of organic matter?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gryndler, M.; Sudova, R.; Puschel, D.; Rydlova, J.; Janouskova, M.; Vosatka, M. [Academy of Science Czech Republic, Pruhonice (Czech Republic)

    2008-09-15

    Two greenhouse experiments were focused on the application of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in planting of high-biomass crops on reclaimed spoil banks. In the first experiment, we tested the effects of different organic amendments on growth of alfalfa and on the introduced microorganisms. While growth of plants was supported in substrate with compost amendment, mycorrhizal colonization was suppressed. Lignocellulose papermill waste had no negative effects on AMF, but did not positively affect growth of plants. The mixture of these two amendments was found to be optimal in both respects, plant growth and mycorrhizal development. Decreasing doses of this mixture amendment were used in the second experiment, where the effects of microbial inoculation (assumed to compensate for reduced doses of organic matter) on growth of two high-biomass crops, hemp and reed canarygrass, were studied. Plant growth response to microbial inoculation was either positive or negative, depending on the dose of the applied amendment and plant species.

  13. Spatial optimization of cropping pattern for sustainable food and biofuel production with minimal downstream pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Femeena, P V; Sudheer, K P; Cibin, R; Chaubey, I

    2018-04-15

    Biofuel has emerged as a substantial source of energy in many countries. In order to avoid the 'food versus fuel competition', arising from grain-based ethanol production, the United States has passed regulations that require second generation or cellulosic biofeedstocks to be used for majority of the biofuel production by 2022. Agricultural residue, such as corn stover, is currently the largest source of cellulosic feedstock. However, increased harvesting of crops residue may lead to increased application of fertilizers in order to recover the soil nutrients lost from the residue removal. Alternatively, introduction of less-fertilizer intensive perennial grasses such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deu.) can be a viable source for biofuel production. Even though these grasses are shown to reduce nutrient loads to a great extent, high production cost have constrained their wide adoptability to be used as a viable feedstock. Nonetheless, there is an opportunity to optimize feedstock production to meet bioenergy demand while improving water quality. This study presents a multi-objective simulation optimization framework using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Multi Algorithm Genetically Adaptive Method (AMALGAM) to develop optimal cropping pattern with minimum nutrient delivery and minimum biomass production cost. Computational time required for optimization was significantly reduced by loose coupling SWAT with an external in-stream solute transport model. Optimization was constrained by food security and biofuel production targets that ensured not more than 10% reduction in grain yield and at least 100 million gallons of ethanol production. A case study was carried out in St. Joseph River Watershed that covers 280,000 ha area in the Midwest U.S. Results of the study indicated that introduction of corn stover removal and perennial grass production reduce nitrate and total phosphorus loads without

  14. Adoption of an unmanned helicopter for low-altitude remote sensing to estimate yield and total biomass of a rice crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    A radio-controlled unmanned helicopter-based LARS (Low-Altitude Remote Sensing) platform was used to acquire quality images of high spatial and temporal resolution, in order to estimate yield and total biomass of a rice crop (Oriza Sativa, L.). Fifteen rice field plots with five N-treatments (0, 33,...

  15. Impacts of Past Land Use Changes on Water Resources: An Analog for Assessing Effects of Proposed Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, B. R.; Schilling, K.; Young, M.; Duncan, I. J.; Gerbens-Leenes, P.

    2011-12-01

    Interest is increasing in renewable energy sources, including bioenergy. However, potential impacts of bioenergy crops on water resources need to be better understood before large scale expansion occurs. This study evaluates the potential for using past land use change impacts on water resources as an analog for assessing future bioenergy crop effects. Impacts were assessed for two cases and methods: (1) changes from perennial to annual crops in the Midwest U.S. using stream hydrograph separation; and (2) changes from perennial grasses and shrubs to annual crops in the Southwest U.S. using unsaturated zone and groundwater data. Results from the Midwest show that expanding the soybean production area by 80,000 km2 increased stream flow by 32%, based on data from Keokuk station in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Using these relationships, further expansion of annual corn production for biofuels by 10 - 50% would increase streamflow by up to 40%, with related increases in nitrate, phosphate, and sediment pollutant transport to the Gulf of Mexico. The changes in water partitioning are attributed to reducing evapotranspiration, increasing recharge and baseflow discharge to streams. Similar results were found in the southwestern US, where changes from native perennial grasses and shrubs to annual crops increased recharge from ~0.0 to 24 mm/yr, raising water tables by up to 7 m in some regions and flushing accumulated salts into underlying aquifers in the southern High Plains. The changes in water partitioning are related to changes in rooting depth from deep rooted native vegetation to shallow rooted crops and growing season length. Further expansion of annual bioenergy crops, such as changes from Conservation Reserve Program to corn in the Midwest, will continue the trajectory of reducing ET, thereby increasing recharge and baseflow to streams and nutrient export. We hypothesize that changing bioenergy crops from annual crops to perennial grasses, such as switchgrass

  16. 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

  17. Nitrogen accumulation and residual effects of nitrogen catch crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, E.S.

    1991-01-01

    The nitrogen accumulation in Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) and tansy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia L.), under- or aftersown as nitrogen catch crops to spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and field pea (Pisum s...

  18. A multi-adaptive framework for the crop choice in paludicultural cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Silvestri

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The conventional cultivation of drained peatland causes peat oxidation, soil subsidence, nutrient loss, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity reduction. Paludiculture has been identified as an alternative management strategy consisting in the cultivation of biomass on wet and rewetted peatlands. This strategy can save these habitats and restore the ecosystem services provided by the peatlands both on the local and global scale. This paper illustrates the most important features to optimise the crop choice phase which is the crucial point for the success of paludiculture systems. A multi-adaptive framework was proposed. It was based on four points that should be checked to identify suitable crops for paludicultural cropping system: biological traits, biomass production, attitude to cultivation and biomass quality. The main agronomic implications were explored with the help of some results from a plurennial open-field experimentation carried out in a paludicultural system set up in the Massaciuccoli Lake Basin (Tuscany, Italy and a complete example of the method application was provided. The tested crops were Arundo donax L., Miscanthus×giganteus Greef et Deuter, Phragmites australis L., Populus×canadensis Moench. and Salix alba L. The results showed a different level of suitability ascribable to the different plant species proving that the proposed framework can discriminate the behaviour of tested crops. Phragmites australis L. was the most suitable crop whereas Populus×canadensis Moench and Miscanthus×giganteus Greef et Deuter (in the case of biogas conversion occupied the last positions in the ranking.

  19. Grass-clover undersowing affects nitrogen dynamics in a grain legume–cereal arable cropping system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Mundus, Simon; Jensen, Erik Steen

    2012-01-01

    A field experiment was carried out in an arable organic cropping system and included a sequence with sole cropped fababean (Vicia faba L.), lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.), pea (Pisum sativum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.) and pea–oat intercropping with or without an undersown perennial ryegrass...... N2 fixation and 15N labeling technique to determine the fate of pea and oat residue N recovery in the subsequent crop. The subsequent spring wheat and winter triticale crop yields were not significantly affected by the previous main crop, but a significant effect of catch crop undersowing...

  20. 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.

  1. A simple algorithm to retrieve soil moisture and vegetation biomass using passive microwave measurements over crop fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wigneron, J.P.; Chanzy, A.; Calvet, J.C.; Bruguier, N.

    1995-01-01

    A simple algorithm to retrieve sail moisture and vegetation water content from passive microwave measurements is analyzed in this study. The approach is based on a zeroth-order solution of the radiative transfer equations in a vegetation layer. In this study, the single scattering albedo accounts for scattering effects and two parameters account for the dependence of the optical thickness on polarization, incidence angle, and frequency. The algorithm requires only ancillary information about crop type and surface temperature. Retrievals of the surface parameters from two radiometric data sets acquired over a soybean and a wheat crop have been attempted. The model parameters have been fitted in order to achieve best match between measured and retrieved surface data. The results of the inversion are analyzed for different configurations of the radiometric observations: one or several look angles, L-band, C-band or (L-band and C-band). Sensitivity of the retrievals to the best fit values of the model parameters has also been investigated. The best configurations, requiring simultaneous measurements at L- and C-band, produce retrievals of soil moisture and biomass with a 15% estimated precision (about 0.06 m 3 /m 3 for soil moisture and 0.3 kg/m 2 for biomass) and exhibit a limited sensitivity to the best fit parameters. (author)

  2. Understanding cropping systems in the semi-arid environments of Zimbabwe: options for soil fertility management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ncube, B.

    2007-01-01

    African smallholder farmers face perennial food shortages due to low crop yields. The major cause of poor crop yields is soil fertility decline. The diversity of sites and soils between African farming systems isgreat,therefore strategies to solve soil fertility problems

  3. 75 FR 6263 - Biomass Crop Assistance Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-08

    ... guidelines followed for any harvesting, collecting, storing or transporting of such material from such... for the purposes of transport and delivery to eligible biomass conversion facilities. As specified in... or proposes to convert renewable biomass into heat, power, biobased products, advanced biodiesel, or...

  4. 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.

  5. Biomass production potentials in Central and Eastern Europe under different scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dam, J. van; Faaij, A.P.C.; Lewandowski, I.; Fischer, G.

    2007-01-01

    A methodology for the assessment of biomass potentials was developed and applied to Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC). Biomass resources considered are agricultural residues, forestry residues, and wood from surplus forest and biomass from energy crops. Only land that is not needed for food and feed production is considered as available for the production of energy crops. Five scenarios were built to depict the influences of different factors on biomass potentials and costs. Scenarios, with a domination of current level of agricultural production or ecological production systems, show the smallest biomass potentials of 2-5.7 EJ for all CEEC. Highest potentials can reach up to 11.7 EJ (85% from energy crops, 12% from residues and 3% from surplus forest wood) when 44 million ha of agricultural land become available for energy crop production. This potential is, however, only realizable under high input production systems and most advanced production technology, best allocation of crop production over all CEEC and by choosing willow as energy crops. The production of lignocellulosic crops, and willow in particular, best combines high biomass production potentials and low biomass production costs. Production costs for willow biomass range from 1.6 to 8.0 EUR/GJ HHV in the scenario with the highest agricultural productivity and 1.0-4.5 EUR/GJ HHV in the scenario reflecting the current status of agricultural production. Generally the highest biomass production costs are experienced when ecological agriculture is prevailing and on land with lower quality. In most CEEC, the production potentials are larger than the current energy use in the more favourable scenarios. Bulk of the biomass potential can be produced at costs lower than 2 EUR/GJ. High potentials combined with the low cost levels gives CEEC major export opportunities. (author)

  6. Exploitation of allelopathy for weed control in annual and perennial cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, A R; Defrank, J; Barnes, J P

    1983-08-01

    A variety of crops, cultivars, and accessions have been evaluated over the past six years for superior capability to suppress weed growth. The most successful of these approaches has been to grow cover crops of rye (Secale cereale), wheat (Triticum aestivum), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), or barley (Hordeum vulgare) to a height of 40-50 cm, desiccate the crops by contact herbicides or freezing, and allow their residues to remain on the soil surface. Often, up to 95% control of important agroecosystem weed species was obtained for a 30- to 60-day period following desiccation of the cover crop. The plant residues on the soil surface exhibit numerous physical and chemical attributes that contribute to weed suppression. Physical aspects include shading and reduced soil temperatures which were similarly achieved using poplar (Populus) excelsior as a control mulch. Chemical aspects apparently include direct release of toxins, as well as production of phytotoxic microbial products. Numerous chemicals appear to work in concert or in an additive or synergistic manner to reduce weed germination and growth.

  7. Assessment of potential biomass energy production in China towards 2030 and 2050

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, Guangling

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a more detailed picture of potential biomass energy production in the Chinese energy system towards 2030 and 2050. Biomass for bioenergy feedstocks comes from five sources, which are agricultural crop residues, forest residues and industrial wood waste, energy crops and woody crops, animal manure, and municipal solid waste. The potential biomass production is predicted based on the resource availability. In the process of identifying biomass resources...

  8. Belowground Water Dynamics Under Contrasting Annual and Perennial Plant Communities in an Agriculturally-Dominated Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, G.; Asbjornsen, H.; Helmers, M. J.; Shepherd, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    The conversion from grasslands and forests to row-crops in the Midwest has affected soil water cycling because plant characteristics are one of the main parameters determining soil storage capacity, infiltration rates, and surface runoff. Little is known, however, about the extent of modification of soil water dynamics under different plant communities. To address this important issue, we are documenting soil water dynamics under contrasting perennial and annual plant communities in an agriculturally-dominated landscape. Measurements of soil moisture and depths of uptake of source water were obtained for six vegetative cover types (corn and soybean field, brome pasture, degraded savanna, restored savanna, and restored prairie) at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. The depths of uptake of soil water were determined on the basis of oxygen isotope composition of soil water and stem water. Measurements were performed once a month during an entire growing season. Preliminary results indicate that soil water present under the different vegetation types show similar profiles with depth during the dry months. Soil water in the upper 5 cm is enriched in oxygen-18 by about 5 per mil relative to soil water at 100 cm. Our preliminary results also indicate that the isotopic composition of stem water from annual plants is typically higher by about 2 per mil relative to that of stem water from perennial plants during the dry period. Whereas the oxygen isotopic composition for corn stem water is -5.49 per mil, that for elm and oak stem water is -7.62 and -7.51 per mil, respectively. The higher isotope values for corn suggest that annual crop plants are withdrawing water from shallower soil horizons relative to perennial plants. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest lower moisture content in soil under annual plant cover. We propose that the presence of deeper roots in the perennial vegetation allows these plants to tap into deeper water sources when

  9. Biomass crops in the agroecosystem. Its benefits agroecological; La biomasa de los cultivos en el oecosistema. Sus beneficios agroecológicos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martínez Romero, Anirebis [Reserva Científica del departamento de Fitotecnia, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrícolas (INCA), gaveta postal 1, San José de las Lajas, Mayabeque (Cuba); Leyva Galán, Angel [Investigador Titular del departamento de Fitotecnia, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agrícolas(INCA), gaveta postal 1, San José de las Lajas, Mayabeque, (Cuba)

    2014-07-01

    Biomass is the result of the transformation of solar energy into chemical energy. The man throughout history has used not only for food but also for feeding their animals. The progress of science promoted agricultural development based on the green revolution, which only promotes the production of either food or feed, marginalizing the importance of biomass as enriching the soil resources available inputs needed to replace their fertility natural. At present the production and preservation of any crop biomass becomes transcendent importance, because it also contributes to environmental protection through carbon sequestration. This study aimed to show the importance of providing non-food biomass generally for humans to use it not only as animal feed but also as a natural resource rich soil. Research in Cuba on the subject is poor, even though today is very important to find alternatives to deepen in the production of biomass in relation to the environment. Finally, we present preliminary results on the production of biomass from agricultural biodiversity present in production scenarios, while reflecting on the important question for future research. (author)

  10. Industrial hemp as a potential bioenergy crop in comparison with kenaf, switchgrass and biomass sorghum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Lalitendu; Liu, Enshi; Saeed, Areej; Williams, David W; Hu, Hongqiang; Li, Chenlin; Ray, Allison E; Shi, Jian

    2017-11-01

    This study takes combined field trial, lab experiment, and economic analysis approaches to evaluate the potential of industrial hemp in comparison with kenaf, switchgrass and biomass sorghum. Agronomy data suggest that the per hectare yield (5437kg) of industrial hemp stem alone was at a similar level with switchgrass and sorghum; while the hemp plants require reduced inputs. Field trial also showed that ∼1230kg/ha hemp grain can be harvested in addition to stems. Results show a predicted ethanol yield of ∼82gallons/dry ton hemp stems, which is comparable to the other three tested feedstocks. A comparative cost analysis indicates that industrial hemp could generate higher per hectare gross profit than the other crops if both hemp grains and biofuels from hemp stem were counted. These combined evaluation results demonstrate that industrial hemp has great potential to become a promising regional commodity crop for producing both biofuels and value-added products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Site-adapted cultivation of bioenergy crops - a strategy towards a greener and innovative feedstock production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruf, Thorsten; Emmerling, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    Cultivation of bioenergy crops is of increasing interest to produce valuable feedstocks e.g. for anaerobic digestion. In the past decade, the focus was primarily set to cultivation of the most economic viable crop, namely maize. In Germany for example, the cultivation area of maize was expanded from approx. 200,000 ha in 2006 to 800,000 ha in 2015. However, this process initiated a scientific and public discussion about the sustainability of intense maize cultivation. Concerns addressed in this context are depletion of soil organic matter, soil erosion and compaction as well as losses of (agro-)biodiversity. However, from a soil science perspective, several problems arise from not site-adapted cultivation of maize. In contrast, the cultivation of perennial bioenergy crops may provide a valuable opportunity to preserve or even enhance soil fertility and agrobiodiversity without limiting economic efficiency. Several perennial energy crops, with various requirements regarding stand conditions, allow a beneficial selection of the most suitable species for a respective location. The study aimed to provide a first step towards a more strategic planning of bioenergy crop cultivation with respect to spatial arrangement, distribution and connectivity of sites on a regional scale. The identification of pedological site characteristics is a crucial step in this process. With the study presented, we tried to derive site information that allow for an assessment of the suitability for specific energy crops. Our idea is to design a multifunctional landscape with a coexistence of sites with reduced management for soil protection and highly productive site. By a site adapted cultivation of perennial energy plants in sensitive areas, a complex, heterogeneous landscape could be reached.

  12. Assessment of potential biomass energy production in China towards 2030 and 2050

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Guangling

    2018-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a more detailed picture of potential biomass energy production in the Chinese energy system towards 2030 and 2050. Biomass for bioenergy feedstocks comes from five sources, which are agricultural crop residues, forest residues and industrial wood waste, energy crops and woody crops, animal manure, and municipal solid waste. The potential biomass production is predicted based on the resource availability. In the process of identifying biomass resources production, assumptions are made regarding arable land, marginal land, crops yields, forest growth rate, and meat consumption and waste production. Four scenarios were designed to describe the potential biomass energy production to elaborate the role of biomass energy in the Chinese energy system in 2030. The assessment shows that under certain restrictions on land availability, the maximum potential biomass energy productions are estimated to be 18,833 and 24,901 PJ in 2030 and 2050.

  13. The potential of Arachis pintoi biomass to improve quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping

    OpenAIRE

    N. Muddarisna; S. Prijono

    2014-01-01

    A field experiment that was aimed to elucidate the effects of application of Arachis pintoi biomass and animal dung on quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping was conducted at Jatikerto Village, Kromengan District of Malang Regency. Eight treatments tested were 100% NPK inorganic fertilizer, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi/ha, (3) 100 kg N chicken dung / ha, 100 kg N cow dung /ha, 100 kg N goat dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + chicken dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + cow dung /h...

  14. Microbial biomass and soil fauna during the decomposition of cover crops in no-tillage system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano Colpo Gatiboni

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The decomposition of plant residues is a biological process mediated by soil fauna, but few studies have been done evaluating its dynamics in time during the process of disappearance of straw. This study was carried out in Chapecó, in southern Brazil, with the objective of monitoring modifications in soil fauna populations and the C content in the soil microbial biomass (C SMB during the decomposition of winter cover crop residues in a no-till system. The following treatments were tested: 1 Black oat straw (Avena strigosa Schreb.; 2 Rye straw (Secale cereale L.; 3 Common vetch straw (Vicia sativa L.. The cover crops were grown until full flowering and then cut mechanically with a rolling stalk chopper. The soil fauna and C content in soil microbial biomass (C SMB were assessed during the period of straw decomposition, from October 2006 to February 2007. To evaluate C SMB by the irradiation-extraction method, soil samples from the 0-10 cm layer were used, collected on eight dates, from before until 100 days after residue chopping. The soil fauna was collected with pitfall traps on seven dates up to 85 days after residue chopping. The phytomass decomposition of common vetch was faster than of black oat and rye residues. The C SMB decreased during the process of straw decomposition, fastest in the treatment with common vetch. In the common vetch treatment, the diversity of the soil fauna was reduced at the end of the decomposition process.

  15. Managing Bioenergy Production on Arable Field Margins for Multiple Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrarini, Andrea; Serra, Paolo; Amaducci, Stefano; Trevisan, Marco; Puglisi, Edoardo

    2013-04-01

    Growing crops for bioenergy is increasingly viewed as conflicting with food production. However, energy use continues to rise and food production requires fuel inputs, which have increased with intensification. The debate should shift from "food or fuel" to the more challenging target: how the increasing demand for food and energy can be met in the future, particularly when water and land availability will be limited. As for food crops, also for bioenergy crops it is questioned whether it is preferable to manage cultivation to enhance ecosystem services ("land sharing" strategy) or to grow crops with lower ecosystem services but higher yield, thereby requiring less land to meet bioenergy demand ("land sparing" strategy). Energy crop production systems differ greatly in the supply of ecosystem services. The use of perennial biomass (e.g. Switchgrass, Mischantus, Giant reed) for energy production is considered a promising way to reduce net carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. In addition, regulating and supporting ecosystem services could be provided when specific management of bioenergy crops is implemented. The idea of HEDGE-BIOMASS* project is to convert the arable field margins to bioenergy crop production fostering a win-win strategy at landscape level. Main objective of the project is to improve land management to generate environmental benefits and increase farmer income. The various options available in literature for an improved field boundary management are presented. The positive/unknown/negative effects of growing perennial bioenergy crops on field margins will be discussed relatively to the following soil-related ecosystem services: (I) biodiversity conservation and enhancement, (II) soil nutrient cycling, (III) climate regulation (reduction of GHG emissions and soil carbon sequestration/stabilization, (IV) water regulation (filtering and buffering), (V) erosion regulation, (VI) pollination and pest regulation. From the analysis of available

  16. Assessment of the phytoextraction potential of high biomass crop plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hernandez-Allica, Javier [NEIKER-tecnalia, Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Becerril, Jose M. [Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country, P.O. Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao (Spain); Garbisu, Carlos [NEIKER-tecnalia, Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain)], E-mail: cgarbisu@neiker.net

    2008-03-15

    A hydroponic screening method was used to identify high biomass crop plants with the ability to accumulate metals. Highest values of shoot accumulation were found in maize cv. Ranchero, rapeseed cv. Karat, and cardoon cv. Peralta for Pb (18 753 mg kg{sup -1}), Zn (10 916 mg kg{sup -1}), and Cd (242 mg kg{sup -1}), respectively. Subsequently, we tested the potential of these three cultivars for the phytoextraction of a metal spiked compost, finding out that, in cardoon and maize plants, increasing Zn and Cd concentrations led to lower values of root and shoot DW. By contrast, rapeseed shoot growth was not significantly affected by Cd concentration. Finally, a metal polluted soil was used to check these cultivars' phytoextraction capacity. Although the soil was phytotoxic enough to prevent the growth of cardoon and rapeseed plants, maize plants phytoextracted 3.7 mg Zn pot{sup -1}. We concluded that the phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies depending on the screening method used. - The phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies significantly depending on the screening method used.

  17. Assessment of the phytoextraction potential of high biomass crop plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hernandez-Allica, Javier; Becerril, Jose M.; Garbisu, Carlos

    2008-01-01

    A hydroponic screening method was used to identify high biomass crop plants with the ability to accumulate metals. Highest values of shoot accumulation were found in maize cv. Ranchero, rapeseed cv. Karat, and cardoon cv. Peralta for Pb (18 753 mg kg -1 ), Zn (10 916 mg kg -1 ), and Cd (242 mg kg -1 ), respectively. Subsequently, we tested the potential of these three cultivars for the phytoextraction of a metal spiked compost, finding out that, in cardoon and maize plants, increasing Zn and Cd concentrations led to lower values of root and shoot DW. By contrast, rapeseed shoot growth was not significantly affected by Cd concentration. Finally, a metal polluted soil was used to check these cultivars' phytoextraction capacity. Although the soil was phytotoxic enough to prevent the growth of cardoon and rapeseed plants, maize plants phytoextracted 3.7 mg Zn pot -1 . We concluded that the phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies depending on the screening method used. - The phytoextraction performance of cultivars varies significantly depending on the screening method used

  18. Native prairie filter strips reduce runoff from hillslopes under annual row-crop systems in Iowa, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    V. Hernandez-Santana; X. Zhou; M.J. Helmers; H. Asbjornsen; R. Kolka; M. Tomer

    2013-01-01

    Intensively managed annual cropping systems have produced high crop yields but have often produced significant ecosystem services alteration, in particular hydrologic regulation loss. Reconversion of annual agricultural systems to perennial vegetation can lead to hydrologic function restoration, but its effect is still not well understood. Therefore, our objective was...

  19. Genetic Loci Governing Androgenic Capacity in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel F. Begheyn

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Immature pollen can be induced to switch developmental pathways from gametogenesis to embryogenesis and subsequently regenerate into homozygous, diploid plants. Such androgenic production of doubled haploids is particularly useful for species where inbreeding is hampered by effective self-incompatibility systems. Therefore, increasing the generally low androgenic capacity of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. germplasm would enable the efficient production of homozygous plant material, so that a more effective exploitation of heterosis through hybrid breeding schemes can be realized. Here, we present the results of a genome-wide association study in a heterozygous, multiparental population of perennial ryegrass (n = 391 segregating for androgenic capacity. Genotyping-by-sequencing was used to interrogate gene- dense genomic regions and revealed over 1,100 polymorphic sites. Between one and 10 quantitative trait loci (QTL were identified for anther response, embryo and total plant production, green and albino plant production and regeneration. Most traits were under polygenic control, although a major QTL on linkage group 5 was associated with green plant regeneration. Distinct genetic factors seem to affect green and albino plant recovery. Two intriguing candidate genes, encoding chromatin binding domains of the developmental phase transition regulator, Polycomb Repressive Complex 2, were identified. Our results shed the first light on the molecular mechanisms behind perennial ryegrass microspore embryogenesis and enable marker-assisted introgression of androgenic capacity into recalcitrant germplasm of this forage crop of global significance.

  20. Storage of catch crops to produce biogas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molinuevo-Salces, Beatriz; Ahring, Birgitte Kiær; Uellendahl, Hinrich

    2014-01-01

    . On the contrary, the poor quality of IR silage, due to its high TS content, made it inappropriate as feedstock for biogas production. A TS content of 25-35% is preferable, to obtain a proper fermentation avoid leachate run-off and growth of Clostridium sp. or mold formation. Avoiding soil particles in the bales......Catch crop biomass is a promising co-substrate for manure-based biogas plants in Denmark since the cultivation of catch crops is mandatory to retain nutrients in the soil, contributing to protect the aquatic environment. In general, the growth period for catch crops is from harvest of the previous...... crop in July-August to the end of the growing season and harvest in late October. Hence, for use of the biomass in biogas production there is a need for storage of the biomass. Storage as silage would guarantee the availability of the feedstock for biogas production during the whole year. A proper...

  1. Estimation of Vegetable Crop Parameter by Multi-temporal UAV-Borne Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Moeckel

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available 3D point cloud analysis of imagery collected by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV has been shown to be a valuable tool for estimation of crop phenotypic traits, such as plant height, in several species. Spatial information about these phenotypic traits can be used to derive information about other important crop characteristics, like fresh biomass yield, which could not be derived directly from the point clouds. Previous approaches have often only considered single date measurements using a single point cloud derived metric for the respective trait. Furthermore, most of the studies focused on plant species with a homogenous canopy surface. The aim of this study was to assess the applicability of UAV imagery for capturing crop height information of three vegetables (crops eggplant, tomato, and cabbage with a complex vegetation canopy surface during a complete crop growth cycle to infer biomass. Additionally, the effect of crop development stage on the relationship between estimated crop height and field measured crop height was examined. Our study was conducted in an experimental layout at the University of Agricultural Science in Bengaluru, India. For all the crops, the crop height and the biomass was measured at five dates during one crop growth cycle between February and May 2017 (average crop height was 42.5, 35.5, and 16.0 cm for eggplant, tomato, and cabbage. Using a structure from motion approach, a 3D point cloud was created for each crop and sampling date. In total, 14 crop height metrics were extracted from the point clouds. Machine learning methods were used to create prediction models for vegetable crop height. The study demonstrates that the monitoring of crop height using an UAV during an entire growing period results in detailed and precise estimates of crop height and biomass for all three crops (R2 ranging from 0.87 to 0.97, bias ranging from −0.66 to 0.45 cm. The effect of crop development stage on the predicted crop height was

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Predicting seed yield in perennial ryegrass using repeated canopy reflectance measurements and PLSR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gislum, René; Deleuran, Lise Christina; Boelt, Birte

    2009-01-01

    with first year seed crops using three sowing rates and three spring nitrogen (N) application rates. PLSR models were developed for each year and showed correlation coefficients of 0.71, 0.76, and 0.92, respectively. Regression coefficients showed in these experiments that the optimum time for canopy...... reflectance measurements was from approximately 600 cumulative growing degree-days (CGDD) to approximately 900 CGDD. This is the period just before and at heading of the seed crop. Furthermore, regression coefficients showed that information about N and water is important. The results support the development......Repeated canopy reflectance measurements together with partial least-squares regression (PLSR) were used to predict seed yield in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). The measurements were performed during the spring and summer growing seasons of 2001 to 2003 in three field experiments...

  6. 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.

  7. Dissecting the genetics of rhizomatousness: Towards sustainable food, forage, and bioenergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhizomatousness is a key trait influencing both the perenniality and biomass partitioning of plants. Increased understanding of the genetic control of rhizome growth offers potential towards the creation of more sustainable grain, forage, and bioenergy cropping systems. It is also applicable to th...

  8. Growth of sugarcane under high input conditions in tropical Australia. 1. Radiation use, biomass accumulation and partitioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robertson, M.J.; Wood, A.W.; Muchow, R.C.

    1996-01-01

    There is little detailed information on yield accumulation in sugarcane under high-input conditions, which can be used to quantify the key physiological parameters contributing to yield variation. Sugarcane is grown under plant and ratoon crop conditions. This study analysed canopy development, radiation interception and biomass accumulation of two contrasting cultivars of sugarcane under irrigation during the same season under plant and ratoon crop conditions. Over the 15 month season, 11 crop samplings were conducted. Biomass partitioning to stalk was also measured to determine to what extent differences in partitioning between cultivars under ratoon and plant crop conditions contribute to differential productivity. The key findings were: (1) The ratoon crop accumulated biomass more quickly than the plant crop during the first 100 days of growth due to higher stalk number, faster canopy development and greater radiation interception. For similar reasons, cultivar Q138 had higher early biomass production than cultivar Q117 in the plant crop, (2) Early differences in biomass accumulation due to crop class became negligible at about 220 days because maximum RUE of the plant crop (1.72 +/- 0.01 g MJ -1 ) was 8% higher than in the first ratoon crop (1.59 +/- 0.08 g MJ -1 ). The higher maximum RUE in the plant crop was consistent with a higher crop growth rate (35.1 +/- 2.3 versus 31.0 +/- 3.4 g m -2 d -1 ) during the Linear phase of biomass accumulation. (3) Biomass accumulation, which ceased about 300 days after planting/ratooning and 140 days before final harvest, attained similar levels of 53-58 t ha -1 in all four crops. (4) The plateau in biomass was associated with loss of live millable stalks, and not a cessation in the growth rate of individual stalks. The crops continued to intercept radiation while on the biomass plateau, so that average RUEs at final harvest were much lower than the maximum values. (5) There was no effect of crop class or cultivar on the

  9. High-biomass C4 grasses-Filling the yield gap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullet, John E

    2017-08-01

    A significant increase in agricultural productivity will be required by 2050 to meet the needs of an expanding and rapidly developing world population, without allocating more land and water resources to agriculture, and despite slowing rates of grain yield improvement. This review examines the proposition that high-biomass C 4 grasses could help fill the yield gap. High-biomass C 4 grasses exhibit high yield due to C 4 photosynthesis, long growth duration, and efficient capture and utilization of light, water, and nutrients. These C 4 grasses exhibit high levels of drought tolerance during their long vegetative growth phase ideal for crops grown in water-limited regions of agricultural production. The stems of some high-biomass C 4 grasses can accumulate high levels of non-structural carbohydrates that could be engineered to enhance biomass yield and utility as feedstocks for animals and biofuels production. The regulatory pathway that delays flowering of high-biomass C 4 grasses in long days has been elucidated enabling production and deployment of hybrids. Crop and landscape-scale modeling predict that utilization of high-biomass C 4 grass crops on land and in regions where water resources limit grain crop yield could increase agricultural productivity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristene Gedye

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Prairie cordgrass ( Bosc ex Link is being developed as a cellulosic biomass crop. Development of this species will require numerous steps, including breeding, agronomy, and characterization of the species genome. The research in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes, immature inflorescence, and hooks. These ESTs were assembled into 26,302 contigs and 71,103 singletons. From these data were identified, EST–SSR (simple sequence repeat regions and cell wall biosynthetic pathway genes suitable for the development of molecular markers which can aid the breeding process of prairie cordgrass by means of marker assisted selection.

  11. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    KAUST Repository

    Gedye, Kristene

    2010-09-15

    Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link) is being developed as a cellulosic biomass crop. Development of this species will require numerous steps, including breeding, agronomy, and characterization of the species genome. The research in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes, immature inflorescence, and hooks. These ESTs were assembled into 26,302 contigs and 71,103 singletons. From these data were identified, EST-SSR (simple sequence repeat) regions and cell wall biosynthetic pathway genes suitable for the development of molecular markers which can aid the breeding process of prairie cordgrass by means of marker assisted selection.

  12. Biomass for biogas plants in Denmark - in the short and long term; Biomasse til biogasanlaeg i Danmark - pae kort og langt sigt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birkmose, T.; Hjort-Gregersen, K.; Stefanek, K.

    2013-04-15

    In the short term, it is one of the major challenges for the developments of the biogas sector that resources of organic waste of the type (organic industrial wastes) that have heretofore been used, generally are estimated to be nearly exhausted. This has led to a number of new biogas projects based on the use of corn (energy crops) as additional biomass to livestock manure. However, Danish policy now has implemented a restriction on the use of corn and other energy crops for biogas production. It is with the restriction clarified that there is a need to use other additional biomass for biogas production. There is a need in the short term to clarify how alternative biomasses such as straw, nature preservation biomass, household waste, etc. in a technically and economically reliable and satisfactory way can be used for biogas production, so that the dependence of energy crops can be reduced. Additionally, it will be essential if the yield of using manure can be increased to reduce economic dependence on energy crops. In the longer term it is essential to strengthen the assessment of the resource potential of biomass available for the production of biogas, and thus what the contribution of biogas in the long term is estimated to be in the future energy supply based on renewable energy. The present report presents the current and future biomass resources potential and biogas production potential. The biomass resources are primarily agricultural and municipal wastes. (LN)

  13. Considerations for Managing Agricultural Co-Existence between Transgenic and Non-Transgenic Cultivars of Outcrossing Perennial Forage Plants in Dairy Pastures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin F. Smith

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Many of the major forage species used in agriculture are outcrossing and rely on the exchange of pollen between individuals for reproduction; this includes the major species used for dairy production in grazing systems: perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. and white clover (Trifolium repens L.. Cultivars of these species have been co-existing since contrasting cultivars were developed using plant breeding, but the consequences and need for strategies to manage co-existence have been made more prominent with the advent of genetic modification. Recent technological developments have seen the experimental evaluation of genetically modified (GM white clover and perennial ryegrass, although there is no current commercial growing of GM cultivars of these species. Co-existence frameworks already exist for two major cross-pollinated grain crops (canola and maize in Europe, and for alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. in the US, so many of the principles that the industry has developed for co-existence in these crops such as detection techniques, segregation, and agronomic management provide lessons and guidelines for outcrossing forage species, that are discussed in this paper.

  14. Sustainability considerations for electricity generation from biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evans, Annette; Strezov, Vladimir; Evans, Tim J.

    2010-01-01

    The sustainability of electricity generation from biomass has been assessed in this work according to the key indicators of price, efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, availability, limitations, land use, water use and social impacts. Biomass produced electricity generally provides favourable price, efficiency, emissions, availability and limitations but often has unfavorably high land and water usage as well as social impacts. The type and growing location of the biomass source are paramount to its sustainability. Hardy crops grown on unused or marginal land and waste products are more sustainable than dedicated energy crops grown on food producing land using high rates of fertilisers. (author)

  15. A comparison of cellulosic fuel yields and separated soil-surface CO2 fluxes in maize and prairie biofuel cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Virginia A.

    It has been suggested that strategic incorporation of perennial vegetation into agricultural landscapes could provide ecosystem services while maintaining agricultural productivity. To evaluate potential use of prairie as a Midwestern cellulosic feedstock, we investigated theoretical cellulosic fuel yields, as well as soil-surface carbon dioxide emissions of prairie-based biofuel systems as compared to maize-based systems on fertile soils in Boone County, IA, USA. Investigated systems were: a maize-soybean rotation grown for grain only, continuous maize grown for grain and stover both with and without a winter rye cover crop, and a 31-species reconstructed prairie grown with and without spring nitrogen fertilization for fall-harvested biomass. From 2009-2013, the highest producing system was N-fertilized prairie, averaging 10.4 Mg ha -1 yr-1 above-ground biomass with average harvest removals of 7.8 Mg ha-1 yr-1. The unfertilized prairie produced 7.4 Mg ha-1 yr-1, averaging harvests of 5.3 Mg ha-1 yr-1. Lowest cellulosic biomass harvests were realized from continuous maize systems, averaging 3.5 Mg ha -1 yr-1 when grown with, and 3.7 Mg ha-1 yr-1 when grown without a winter rye cover crop, respectively. Un-fertilized prairie biomass and maize stover had equivalent dietary conversion ratios at 330 g ethanol kg-1 dry biomass, but N-fertilized prairie was lower at 315. Over four years prairie systems averaged 1287 L cellulosic ethanol ha-1 yr-1 more than maize systems, with fertilization increasing prairie ethanol production by 865 L ha-1 yr-1. Harvested biomass accounted for >90% of ethanol yield variation. A major hurdle in carbon cycling studies is the separation of the soil-surface CO2 flux into its respective components. From 2012-2013 we used a shading method to separate soil-surface CO2 resulting from oxidation of soil organic matter and CO2 derived from live-root activity in three systems: unfertilized prairie, N-fertilized prairie, and continuous maize

  16. 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)

  17. Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizae does not improve 137Cs uptake in crops grown in the Chernobyl region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vinichuk, M.; Mårtensson, A.; Rosén, K.

    2013-01-01

    Methods for cleaning up radioactive contaminated soils are urgently needed. In this study we investigated whether the use of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can improve 137 Cs uptake by crops. Barley, cucumber, perennial ryegrass, and sunflower were inoculated with AM fungi and grown in low-level radionuclide contaminated soils in a field experiment 70 km southwest of Chernobyl, Ukraine, during two successive years (2009–2010). Roots of barley, cucumber and sunflower plants were slightly or moderately infected with AM fungus and root infection frequency was negatively or non-correlated with 137 Cs uptake by plants. Roots of ryegrass were moderately infected with AM fungus and infection frequency was moderately correlated with 137 Cs uptake by ryegrass. The application of AM fungi to soil in situ did not enhance radionuclide plant uptake or biomass. The responsiveness of host plants and AM fungus combination to 137 Cs uptake varied depending on the soil, although mycorrhization of soil in the field was conditional and did not facilitate the uptake of radiocesium. The total amount of 137 Cs uptake by plants growing on inoculated soil was equal to amounts in plant cultivated on non-inoculated soil. Thus, the use of AM fungi in situ for bioremediation of soil contaminated with a low concentration of 137 Cs could not be recommended. -- Highlights: • Effect of mycorrhization on 137 Cs uptake by crops was studied in a field experiment. • AM fungi did not enhance radionuclide plant uptake or biomass. • Plants growing on inoculated and non-inoculated soil accumulate 137 Cs equally

  18. Cover crop and CO2 emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural land management practices account for about 50% of soil organic carbon (SOC) loss. Restoring SOC is important to soil productivity and fertility. Management strategies to rebuild SOC include addition of manure or other organic amendments, increasing root biomass from crops, leaving crop...

  19. 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.

  20. Review of literature on perennial peanut (Arachis pintoi) as potential cover crop in the tropics

    OpenAIRE

    Kartika, J.G.; Reyes, Manuel R.; Susila, Anas D.

    2007-01-01

    The use of living mulch as a substitute for plastic mulch is increasing in the tropics as researchers have gradually shifted their attention to organic farming systems. Arachis pintoi is a perennial plant and a member of the leguminosae family. A. pintoi has good potential for use as a living mulch in association with vegetables, trees, or grass (as a pasture) because of its ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and to grow in heavy shade. This work, based on fact sheets, journals and t...

  1. Nitrate leaching from organic arable crop rotations is mostly determined by autumn field management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Askegaard, M; Olesen, Jørgen E; Rasmussen, Ilse Ankjær

    2011-01-01

    Two main challenges facing organic arable farming are the supply of nitrogen (N) to the crop and the control of perennial weeds. Nitrate leaching from different organic arable crop rotations was investigated over three consecutive four-year crop rotations in a field experiment at three locations....../volunteers had on avg. 30 kg N ha−1, and the largest N leaching losses were found after stubble cultivation (avg. 55 kg N ha−1). The N leaching losses increased with increasing number of autumn soil cultivations...

  2. Endophyte-assisted promotion of biomass production and metal-uptake of energy crop sweet sorghum by plant-growth-promoting endophyte Bacillus sp. SLS18

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Shenglian; Xu, Taoying; Chen, Liang [Hunan Univ., Changsha (China). College of Environmental Science and Engineering] [and others

    2012-02-15

    The effects of Bacillus sp. SLS18, a plant-growth-promoting endophyte, on the biomass production and Mn/Cd uptake of sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), Phytolacca acinosa Roxb., and Solanum nigrum L. were investigated. SLS18 displayed multiple heavy metals and antibiotics resistances. The strain also exhibited the capacity of producing indole-3-acetic acid, siderophores, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase. In pot experiments, SLS18 could not only infect plants effectively but also significantly increase the biomass of the three tested plants in the presence of Mn/Cd. The promoting effect order of SLS18 on the biomass of the tested plants was sweet sorghum > P. acinosa > S. nigrum L. In the presence of Mn (2,000 mg kg{sup -1}) and Cd (50 mg kg{sup -1}) in vermiculite, the total Mn/Cd uptakes in the aerial parts of sweet sorghum, P. acinosa, and S. nigrum L. were increased by 65.2%/40.0%, 55.2%/31.1%, and 18.6%/25.6%, respectively, compared to the uninoculated controls. This demonstrates that the symbiont of SLS18 and sweet sorghum has the potential of improving sweet sorghum biomass production and its total metal uptake on heavy metal-polluted marginal land. It offers the potential that heavy metal-polluted marginal land could be utilized in planting sweet sorghum as biofuel feedstock for ethanol production, which not only gives a promising phytoremediation strategy but also eases the competition for limited fertile farmland between energy crops and food crops. (orig.)

  3. Weeds in Organic Fertility-Building Leys: Aspects of Species Richness and Weed Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas F. Döring

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Legume-based leys (perennial sod crops are an important component of fertility management in organic rotations in many parts of Europe. Despite their importance, however, relatively little is known about how these leys affect weed communities or how the specific composition of leys may contribute to weed management. To determine whether the choice of plant species in the ley affects weeds, we conducted replicated field trials at six locations in the UK over 24 months, measuring weed cover and biomass in plots sown with monocultures of 12 legume and 4 grass species, and in plots sown with a mixture of 10 legume species and 4 grass species. Additionally, we monitored weed communities in leys on 21 organic farms across the UK either sown with a mixture of the project species or the farmers’ own species mix. In total, 63 weed species were found on the farms, with the annuals Stellaria media, Sonchus arvensis, and Veronica persica being the most frequent species in the first year after establishment of the ley, while Stellaria media and the two perennials Ranunculus repens and Taraxacum officinale dominated the weed spectrum in the second year. Our study shows that organic leys constitute an important element of farm biodiversity. In both replicated and on-farm trials, weed cover and species richness were significantly lower in the second year than in the first, owing to lower presence of annual weeds in year two. In monocultures, meadow pea (Lathyrus pratensis was a poor competitor against weeds, and a significant increase in the proportion of weed biomass was observed over time, due to poor recovery of meadow pea after mowing. For red clover (Trifolium pratense, we observed the lowest proportion of weed biomass in total biomass among the tested legume species. Crop biomass and weed biomass were negatively correlated across species. Residuals from the linear regression between crop biomass and weed biomass indicated that at similar levels of crop

  4. Residual soil nitrate content and profitability of five cropping systems in northwest Iowa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Haan, Robert L; Schuiteman, Matthew A; Vos, Ronald J

    2017-01-01

    Many communities in the Midwestern United States obtain their drinking water from shallow alluvial wells that are vulnerable to contamination by NO3-N from the surrounding agricultural landscape. The objective of this research was to assess cropping systems with the potential to produce a reasonable return for farmers while simultaneously reducing the risk of NO3-N movement into these shallow aquifers. From 2009 to 2013 we conducted a field experiment in northwest Iowa in which we evaluated five cropping systems for residual (late fall) soil NO3-N content and profitability. Soil samples were taken annually from the top 30 cm of the soil profile in June and August, and from the top 180 cm in November (late fall). The November samples were divided into 30 cm increments for analysis. Average residual NO3-N content in the top 180 cm of the soil profile following the 2010 to 2013 cropping years was 134 kg ha-1 for continuous maize (Zea mays L.) with a cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop, 18 kg ha-1 for perennial grass, 60 kg ha-1 for a three year oat (Avena sativa L.)-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)-maize rotation, 85 kg ha-1 for a two year oat/red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)-maize rotation, and 90 kg ha-1 for a three year soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.)-winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-maize rotation. However, residual NO3-N in the 90 to 180 cm increment of the soil profile was not significantly higher in the oat-alfalfa-maize cropping system than the perennial grass system. For 2010 to 2013, average profit ($ ha-1 yr-1) was 531 for continuous corn, 347 for soybean-winter wheat-maize, 264 for oat-alfalfa-maize, 140 for oat/red clover-maize, and -384 (loss) for perennial grass. Considering both residual soil NO3-N and profitability data, the oat-alfalfa-maize rotation performed the best in this setting. However, given current economic pressures widespread adoption is likely to require changes in public policy.

  5. Evaluating the economics of biomass energy production in the Watts Bar region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexander, R.R.; English, B.C.; Bhat, M.G. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Graham, R.L. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)

    1993-12-31

    While the commercial potential of biofuel technology is becoming more feasible, it is not clear whether the supply of biomass feedstock will be available in competitive markets. In order to exploit the potential of biomass crops as a reliable source of biofuels, a significant commitment on the part of farmers to convert large amounts of cropland would be required. Dedicated energy crops have to compete with conventional crops which could result in significant interregional shifts in crop production. Those changes could further affect overall agricultural production, food prices, consumer spending, and government spending on farm programs. Evaluating these economic impacts provides important information for the ongoing debate. This research is a case study incorporating an existing power plant. The objective of this project is to evaluate the potential of short rotation woody crops as a fuel source in the Watts Bar facility located in eastern Tennessee. The appraisal includes estimates of environmental impacts as well as of economic feasibility. This is achieved by estimating the amounts of biomass that would be supplied at a predetermined price. By changing prices of biomass at the plant in an incremental fashion, a regional supply curve for biomass is estimated. The model incorporates current agricultural production possibilities in the region along with the proposed short rotation woody crop production activities. In order to adequately model the landscape, several variables are considered. These variables include soil type, crop production, government policy, land use conversion to crop land, and distance from the plant. Environmental issues including erosion, chemical usage, and potential leaching are also incorporated within the modeling framework; however, only estimates on erosion are available in this analysis. Output from the model provides insight on where and what types of land should shift from current land use to biomass production.

  6. Spatio-temporal modelling of biomass of intensively grazed perennial dairy pastures using multispectral remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edirisinghe, Asoka; Clark, Dave; Waugh, Deanne

    2012-06-01

    Pasture biomass is a vital input for management of dairy systems in New Zealand. An accurate estimate of pasture biomass information is required for the calculation of feed budget, on which decisions are made for farm practices such as conservation, nitrogen use, rotational lengths and supplementary feeding leading to profitability and sustainable use of pasture resources. The traditional field based methods of measuring pasture biomass such as using rising plate metres (RPM) are largely inefficient in providing the timely information at the spatial extent and temporal frequency demanded by commercial environments. In recent times remote sensing has emerged as an alternative tool. In this paper we have examined the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from medium resolution imagery of SPOT-4 and SPOT-5 satellite sensors to predict pasture biomass of intensively grazed dairy pastures. In the space and time domain analysis we have found a significant dependency of time over the season and no dependency of space across the scene at a given time for the relationship between NDVI and field based pasture biomass. We have established a positive correlation (81%) between the two variables in a pixel scale analysis. The application of the model on 2 selected farms over 3 images and aggregation of the predicted biomass to paddock scale has produced paddock average pasture biomass values with a coefficient of determination of 0.71 and a standard error of 260 kg DM ha-1 in the field observed range between 1500 and 3500 kg DM ha-1. This result indicates a high potential for operational use of remotely sensed data to predict pasture biomass of intensively grazed dairy pastures.

  7. Switchgrass harvest time management can impact biomass yield and nutrient content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a dedicated energy crop native to much of North America. While high-biomass yield is of significant importance for the development of switchgrass as a bioenergy crop, nutrient content in the biomass as it relates to biofuel conversion efficiency is also critical...

  8. Grow them and we will come for the feast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial grasses such as switchgrass are likely to become dedicated biomass crops. However, there is limited knowledge on the types of insect pests that could pose a problem if these grasses are cultivated on a large-scale. Recent reports suggest that different classes of insect have the ability ...

  9. Assessment of the Agronomic Feasibility of Bioenergy Crop Cultivation on Marginal and Polluted Land: A GIS-Based Suitability Study from the Sulcis Area, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Pulighe

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In the context of environmental sustainability there has been an increasing interest in bioenergy production from renewable resources, and is expected that European biofuel production from energy crops will increase as a consequence of the achievement of policy targets. The aim of this paper is to assess the agronomic feasibility of biomass crop cultivation to provide profitable renewable feedstocks in a marginal and heavy-metal polluted area located in the Sulcis district, Sardinia (Italy. Results from literature review and unpublished data from field trials carried out in Sardinia were analysed to establish the main agronomic traits of crops (e.g., yield potential and input requirements. A Geographical Information System (GIS-based procedure with remotely sensed data is also used to evaluate the land suitability and the actual land use/cover, considering a future scenario of expansion of energy crops on these marginal areas avoiding potential conflicts with food production. The results of the review suggests that giant reed, native perennial grasses and milk thistle are the most suitable energy crops for this area. The land suitability analysis shows that about 5700 ha and 1000 ha could be available for feedstock cultivation in the study area and in the most polluted area, respectively. The results obtained from land suitability process and agronomic evaluation will serve as a base to support technical and economical feasibility studies, as well as for the evaluation of environmental sustainability of the cultivation in the study area.

  10. Refuge or reservoir? The potential impacts of the biofuel crop Miscanthus x giganteus on a major pest of maize.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph L Spencer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Interest in the cultivation of biomass crops like the C4 grass Miscanthus x giganteus (Miscanthus is increasing as global demand for biofuel grows. In the US, Miscanthus is promoted as a crop well-suited to the Corn Belt where it could be cultivated on marginal land interposed with maize and soybean. Interactions (direct and indirect of Miscanthus, maize, and the major Corn Belt pest of maize, the western corn rootworm, (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, WCR are unknown. Adding a perennial grass/biomass crop to this system is concerning since WCR is adapted to the continuous availability of its grass host, maize (Zea mays. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a greenhouse and field study, we investigated WCR development and oviposition on Miscanthus. The suitability of Miscanthus for WCR development varied across different WCR populations. Data trends indicate that WCR populations that express behavioural resistance to crop rotation performed as well on Miscanthus as on maize. Over the entire study, total adult WCR emergence from Miscanthus (212 WCR was 29.6% of that from maize (717 WCR. Adult dry weight was 75-80% that of WCR from maize; female emergence patterns on Miscanthus were similar to females developing on maize. There was no difference in the mean no. of WCR eggs laid at the base of Miscanthus and maize in the field. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Field oviposition and significant WCR emergence from Miscanthus raises many questions about the nature of likely interactions between Miscanthus, maize and WCR and the potential for Miscanthus to act as a refuge or reservoir for Corn Belt WCR. Responsible consideration of the benefits and risks associated with Corn Belt Miscanthus are critical to protecting an agroecosystem that we depend on for food, feed, and increasingly, fuel. Implications for European agroecosystems in which Miscanthus is being proposed are also discussed in light of the WCR's recent invasion into Europe.

  11. Using The Corngrass1 Gene To Enhance The Biofuel Properties Of Crop Plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hake, Sarah [USDA Agricultural Research Service, Washington DC (United States); Chuck, George [USDA Agricultural Research Service, Washington DC (United States)

    2015-10-29

    The development of novel plant germplasm is vital to addressing our increasing bioenergy demands. The major hurdle to digesting plant biomass is the complex structure of the cell walls, the substrate of fermentation. Plant cell walls are inaccessible matrices of macromolecules that are polymerized with lignin, making fermentation difficult. Overcoming this hurdle is a major goal toward developing usable bioenergy crop plants. Our project seeks to enhance the biofuel properties of perennial grass species using the Corngrass1 (Cg1) gene and its targets. Dominant maize Cg1 mutants produce increased biomass by continuously initiating extra axillary meristems and leaves. We cloned Cg1 and showed that its phenotype is caused by over expression of a unique miR156 microRNA gene that negatively regulates SPL transcription factors. We transferred the Cg1 phenotype to other plants by expressing the gene behind constitutive promoters in four different species, including the monocots, Brachypodium and switchgrass, and dicots, Arabidopsis and poplar. All transformants displayed a similar range of phenotypes, including increased biomass from extended leaf production, and increased vegetative branching. Field grown switchgrass transformants showed that overall lignin content was reduced, the ratio of glucans to xylans was increased, and surprisingly, that starch levels were greatly increased. The goals of this project are to control the tissue and temporal expression of Cg1 by using different promoters to drive its expression, elucidate the function of the SPL targets of Cg1 by generating gain and loss of function alleles, and isolate downstream targets of select SPL genes using deep sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation. We believe it is possible to control biomass accumulation, cell wall properties, and sugar levels through manipulation of either the Cg1 gene and/or its SPL targets.

  12. Siting Evaluation for Biomass-Ethanol Production in Hawaii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kinoshita, C.M.; Zhou, J.

    2000-10-15

    This report examines four Hawaiian islands, Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, to identify three best combinations of potential sites and crops for producing dedicated supplies of biomass for conversion to ethanol. Key technical and economic factors considered in the siting evaluation include land availability (zoning and use), land suitability (agronomic conditions), potential quantities and costs of producing biomass feedstocks, infrastructure (including water and power supplies), transportation, and potential bioresidues to supplement dedicated energy crops.

  13. Importance and condition of forage crops seed production in agriculture of the Republic of Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đokić Dragoslav

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available For contemporary and economical livestock production, especially cattle and sheep raising, it is necessary to achieve high production of livestock feed while reducing production costs. Improving the production of perennial grasses and legumes creates a good basis for the development of livestock production in different agro-ecological conditions of Serbia. It also establishes a link between farming and animal husbandry, which is of particular importance for the preservation and higher fertility of arable land and the protection of agro-ecosystems. An important factor for the cheaper production of livestock feed is the possibility to provide sufficient quantities of quality seeds at affordable prices. Production of quality seeds of local varieties of perennial legumes is possible to obtain sufficient amounts of good quality forage. Current situation in forage crop seed production of the Republic of Serbia is unsatisfactory because the seed of perennial grasses are mostly imported. Domestic production of alfalfa, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil met domestic needs only in some years. Seed of imported varieties are often not satisfactory because those varieties are not adapted to our local agro-ecological conditions. The present results provide the basis and direction for further researches that may provide solutions to increase seed yields and which will be widely accepted in practice, which will make the production more cost-effective. Institute for forage crops Kruševac is making a significant contribution to the development of technology of seed productions, especially alfalfa, red clover and perennial grasses. Therefore the role of the Institute is very important and necessary link between production, processing and trading seeds of perennial legumes and grasses in Serbia.

  14. Control of volunteer soybean plants in sunflower crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Magno Brighenti

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Sunflower (Helianthus annuus sown offseason, after soybean crop (Glycine max, is affected by the competition imposed by volunteer plants. Two experiments were carried out to evaluate the control of volunteer soybean plants in sunflower crops. The sulfentrazone herbicide (75 g ha-1, 100 g ha-1 and 250 g ha-1 causes phytotoxicity to sunflower immediately after application, however, plants recover, with no yield losses. These doses do not cause the total death of volunteer soybean plants, but temporarily paralyzes their growth, avoiding the competition with the sunflower crop. The glufosinate ammonium and ametryn herbicides are effective in controlling volunteer soybean plants, however, symptoms of phytotoxicity in the sunflower crop are high, reflecting in losses of dry weight biomass and crop yield. The other treatments do not provide satisfactory control of volunteer soybean plants and even reduce the sunflower dry weight biomass and yield.

  15. Energy production from biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bestebroer, S.I.

    1995-01-01

    The aim of the task group 'Energy Production from Biomass', initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, was to identify bottlenecks in the development of biomass for energy production. The bottlenecks were identified by means of a process analysis of clean biomass fuels to the production of electricity and/or heat. The subjects in the process analysis are the potential availability of biomass, logistics, processing techniques, energy use, environmental effects, economic impact, and stimulation measures. Three categories of biomass are distinguished: organic residual matter, imported biomass, and energy crops, cultivated in the Netherlands. With regard to the processing techniques attention is paid to co-firing of clean biomass in existing electric power plants (co-firing in a coal-fired power plant or co-firing of fuel gas from biomass in a coal-fired or natural gas-fired power plant), and the combustion or gasification of clean biomass in special stand-alone installations. 5 figs., 13 tabs., 28 refs

  16. Accuracy of Genomic Prediction in a Commercial Perennial Ryegrass Breeding Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Fè

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of genomic selection (GS in plant breeding, so far, has been mainly evaluated in crops farmed as homogeneous varieties, and the results have been generally positive. Fewer results are available for species, such as forage grasses, that are grown as heterogenous families (developed from multiparent crosses in which the control of the genetic variation is far more complex. Here we test the potential for implementing GS in the breeding of perennial ryegrass ( L. using empirical data from a commercial forage breeding program. Biparental F and multiparental synthetic (SYN families of diploid perennial ryegrass were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing, and phenotypes for five different traits were analyzed. Genotypes were expressed as family allele frequencies, and phenotypes were recorded as family means. Different models for genomic prediction were compared by using practically relevant cross-validation strategies. All traits showed a highly significant level of genetic variance, which could be traced using the genotyping assay. While there was significant genotype × environment (G × E interaction for some traits, accuracies were high among F families and between biparental F and multiparental SYN families. We have demonstrated that the implementation of GS in grass breeding is now possible and presents an opportunity to make significant gains for various traits.

  17. Adaptation of C4 Bioenergy Crop Species to Various Environments within the Southern Great Plains of USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumin Kim

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available As highly productive perennial grasses are evaluated as bioenergy feedstocks, a major consideration is biomass yield stability. Two experiments were conducted to examine some aspects of yield stability for two biofuel species: switchgrass (Panicum vigratum L. and Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg. Biomass yields of these species were evaluated under various environmental conditions across the Southern Great Plains (SGP, including some sites with low soil fertility. In the first experiment, measured yields of four switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg varied among locations. Overall, plants showed optimal growth performance in study sites close to their geographical origins. Lowland switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg yields simulated by the ALMANAC model showed reasonable agreement with the measured yields across all study locations, while the simulated yields of upland switchgrass ecotypes were overestimated in northern locations. In the second experiment, examination of different N fertilizer rates revealed switchgrass yield increases over the range of 0, 80, or 160 kg N ha−1 year−1, while Mxg only showed yield increases between the low and medium N rates. This provides useful insights to crop management of two biofuel species and to enhance the predictive accuracy of process-based models, which are critical for developing bioenergy market systems in the SGP.

  18. Manipulating microRNAs for improved biomass and biofuels from plant feedstocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbo, Jennifer Lynn; Zhang, Baohong; Stewart, Charles Neal

    2015-04-01

    Petroleum-based fuels are nonrenewable and unsustainable. Renewable sources of energy, such as lignocellulosic biofuels and plant metabolite-based drop-in fuels, can offset fossil fuel use and reverse environmental degradation through carbon sequestration. Despite these benefits, the lignocellulosic biofuels industry still faces many challenges, including the availability of economically viable crop plants. Cell wall recalcitrance is a major economic barrier for lignocellulosic biofuels production from biomass crops. Sustainability and biomass yield are two additional, yet interrelated, foci for biomass crop improvement. Many scientists are searching for solutions to these problems within biomass crop genomes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in almost all biological and metabolic process in plants including plant development, cell wall biosynthesis and plant stress responses. Because of the broad functions of their targets (e.g. auxin response factors), the alteration of plant miRNA expression often results in pleiotropic effects. A specific miRNA usually regulates a biologically relevant bioenergy trait. For example, relatively low miR156 overexpression leads to a transgenic feedstock with enhanced biomass and decreased recalcitrance. miRNAs have been overexpressed in dedicated bioenergy feedstocks such as poplar and switchgrass yielding promising results for lignin reduction, increased plant biomass, the timing of flowering and response to harsh environments. In this review, we present the status of miRNA-related research in several major biofuel crops and relevant model plants. We critically assess published research and suggest next steps for miRNA manipulation in feedstocks for increased biomass and sustainability for biofuels and bioproducts. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Biomass energy: Sustainable solution for greenhouse gas emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadrul Islam, A. K. M.; Ahiduzzaman, M.

    2012-06-01

    Biomass is part of the carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide is produced after combustion of biomass. Over a relatively short timescale, carbon dioxide is renewed from atmosphere during next generation of new growth of green vegetation. Contribution of renewable energy including hydropower, solar, biomass and biofuel in total primary energy consumption in world is about 19%. Traditional biomass alone contributes about 13% of total primary energy consumption in the world. The number of traditional biomass energy users expected to rise from 2.5 billion in 2004 to 2.6 billion in 2015 and to 2.7 billion in 2030 for cooking in developing countries. Residential biomass demand in developing countries is projected to rise from 771 Mtoe in 2004 to 818 Mtoe in 2030. The main sources of biomass are wood residues, bagasse, rice husk, agro-residues, animal manure, municipal and industrial waste etc. Dedicated energy crops such as short-rotation coppice, grasses, sugar crops, starch crops and oil crops are gaining importance and market share as source of biomass energy. Global trade in biomass feedstocks and processed bioenergy carriers are growing rapidly. There are some drawbacks of biomass energy utilization compared to fossil fuels viz: heterogeneous and uneven composition, lower calorific value and quality deterioration due to uncontrolled biodegradation. Loose biomass also is not viable for transportation. Pelletization, briquetting, liquefaction and gasification of biomass energy are some options to solve these problems. Wood fuel production is very much steady and little bit increase in trend, however, the forest land is decreasing, means the deforestation is progressive. There is a big challenge for sustainability of biomass resource and environment. Biomass energy can be used to reduce greenhouse emissions. Woody biomass such as briquette and pellet from un-organized biomass waste and residues could be used for alternative to wood fuel, as a result, forest will be saved and

  20. Valutazione di colture lignocellulosiche in ambiente mediterraneo ai fini della produzione di bioetanolo di seconda generazione

    OpenAIRE

    Daparo, Loredana

    2011-01-01

    In the last years there has been a growing interest in energy biomass crops especially in the industrialized countries, in relationship to the pressing demands to exploit new energetic sources. The new technologies that can make fuel from lignocellulosic biomass, open up interesting prospects for some species that have proved particularly promising for the characteristics of perenniality and productivity: Arundo donax, Cynara cardunculus Miscantus spp and even if they have, however, still ...

  1. Research in biomass production and utilization: Systems simulation and analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Albert Stewart

    There is considerable public interest in developing a sustainable biobased economy that favors support of family farms and rural communities and also promotes the development of biorenewable energy resources. This study focuses on a number of questions related to the development and exploration of new pathways that can potentially move us toward a more sustainable biobased economy. These include issues related to biomass fuels for drying grain, economies-of-scale, new biomass harvest systems, sugar-to-ethanol crop alternatives for the Upper Midwest U.S., biomass transportation, post-harvest biomass processing and double cropping production scenarios designed to maximize biomass feedstock production. The first section of this study considers post-harvest drying of shelled corn grain both at farm-scale and at larger community-scaled installations. Currently, drying of shelled corn requires large amounts of fossil fuel energy. To address future energy concerns, this study evaluates the potential use of combined heat and power systems that use the combustion of corn stover to produce steam for drying and to generate electricity for fans, augers, and control components. Because of the large capital requirements for solid fuel boilers and steam turbines/engines, both farm-scale and larger grain elevator-scaled systems benefit by sharing boiler and power infrastructure with other processes. The second and third sections evaluate sweet sorghum as a possible "sugarcane-like" crop that can be grown in the Upper Midwest. Various harvest systems are considered including a prototype mobile juice harvester, a hypothetical one-pass unit that separates grain heads from chopped stalks and traditional forage/silage harvesters. Also evaluated were post-harvest transportation, storage and processing costs and their influence on the possible use of sweet sorghum as a supplemental feedstock for existing dry-grind ethanol plants located in the Upper Midwest. Results show that the concept

  2. Renewable energy policies and competition for biomass: Implications for land use, food prices, and processing industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Xiaoguang; Önal, Hayri

    2016-01-01

    We use a mathematical programming model to examine the impacts of simultaneous implementation of two US biofuel and bioenergy policies on commodity markets and spatial distribution of future cellulosic biorefineries. The key findings based on our numerical simulation are: (1) the number and average annual production capacity of cellulosic biofuel refineries depend on the total renewable fuels mandate; (2) the mix of cellulosic biomass feedstock depends on the assumptions about the production costs of energy crops and the amount of cropland that can be used for energy crops, but regardless of the assumptions crop residues are the primary biomass source to meet the demand for biomass for biofuel production and electricity generation; and (3) the biomass production areas would surround either future cellulosic biorefineries or the existing coal-based power plants to reduce the costs of biomass transportation. These findings have important implications for biorefinery investors and provide valuable policy insights for the selection of Biomass Crop Assistance Program project areas. - Highlights: •Impacts of US biofuel and bioenergy policies are analyzed. •The number and production capacity of biorefineries depend on the biofuel policies. •Crop residues are the primary biomass source for bioenergy production. •Biomass production areas will surround cellulosic biorefineries or power plants.

  3. Increasing biomass resource availability through supply chain analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welfle, Andrew; Gilbert, Paul; Thornley, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Increased inclusion of biomass in energy strategies all over the world means that greater mobilisation of biomass resources will be required to meet demand. Strategies of many EU countries assume the future use of non-EU sourced biomass. An increasing number of studies call for the UK to consider alternative options, principally to better utilise indigenous resources. This research identifies the indigenous biomass resources that demonstrate the greatest promise for the UK bioenergy sector and evaluates the extent that different supply chain drivers influence resource availability. The analysis finds that the UK's resources with greatest primary bioenergy potential are household wastes (>115 TWh by 2050), energy crops (>100 TWh by 2050) and agricultural residues (>80 TWh by 2050). The availability of biomass waste resources was found to demonstrate great promise for the bioenergy sector, although are highly susceptible to influences, most notably by the focus of adopted waste management strategies. Biomass residue resources were found to be the resource category least susceptible to influence, with relatively high near-term availability that is forecast to increase – therefore representing a potentially robust resource for the bioenergy sector. The near-term availability of UK energy crops was found to be much less significant compared to other resource categories. Energy crops represent long-term potential for the bioenergy sector, although achieving higher limits of availability will be dependent on the successful management of key influencing drivers. The research highlights that the availability of indigenous resources is largely influenced by a few key drivers, this contradicting areas of consensus of current UK bioenergy policy. - Highlights: • As global biomass demand increases, focus is placed indigenous resources. • A Biomass Resource Model is applied to analyse UK biomass supply chain dynamics. • Biomass availability is best increased

  4. Long-term above-ground biomass production in a red oak-pecan agroforestry system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agroforestry systems have widely been recognized for their potential to foster long-term carbon sequestration in woody perennials. This study aims to determine the above-ground biomass in a 16-year-old red oak (Quercus rubra) - pecan (Carya illinoinensis) silvopastoral planting (141 and 53 trees ha-...

  5. Characterization of Proteins in Filtrate from Biodegradation of Crop Residue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Wileatha; Trotman, A. A.

    1997-01-01

    Biodegradation of plant biomass is a feasible path for transformation of crop residue and recycling of nutrients for crop growth. The need to model the effects of factors associated with recycling of plant biomass resulting from hydroponic sweet potato production has led to investigation of natural soil isolates with the capacity for starch hydrolysis. This study sought to use nondenaturing gel electrophoresis to characterize the proteins present in filtered effluent from bioreactors seeded with starch hydrolyzing bacterial culture used in the biodegradation of senesced sweet potato biomass. The study determined the relative molecular weight of proteins in sampled effluent and the protein banding pattern was characterized. The protein profiles of effluent were similar for samples taken from independent runs under similar conditions of starch hydrolysis. The method can be used as a quality control tool for confirmation of starch hydrolysis of crop biomass. In addition, this method will allow monitoring for presence of contaminants within the system-protein profiles indicative of new enzymes in the bioreactors.

  6. Estimation of energy potential of agricultural enterprise biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lypchuk Vasyl

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Bioenergetics (obtaining of energy from biomass is one of innovative directions in energy branch of Ukraine. Correct and reliable estimation of biomass potential is essential for efficient use of it. The article reveals the issue of estimation of potential of biomass, obtained from byproducts of crop production and animal breeding, which can be used for power supply of agricultural enterprises. The given analysis was carried with application of common methodological fundamentals, revealed in the estimation of production structure of agricultural enterprises, structure of land employment, efficiency of crops growing, indicators of output of main and by-products, as well as normative (standard parameters of power output of energy raw material in relation to the chosen technology of its utilization. Results of the research prove high energy potential of byproducts of crop production and animal breeding at all of the studied enterprises, which should force its practical use.

  7. Growing C4 perennial grass for bioenergy using a new Agro-BGC ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Vittorio, A. V.; Anderson, R. S.; Miller, N. L.; Running, S. W.

    2009-12-01

    Accurate, spatially gridded estimates of bioenergy crop yields require 1) biophysically accurate crop growth models and 2) careful parameterization of unavailable inputs to these models. To meet the first requirement we have added the capacity to simulate C4 perennial grass as a bioenergy crop to the Biome-BGC ecosystem model. This new model, hereafter referred to as Agro-BGC, includes enzyme driven C4 photosynthesis, individual live and dead leaf, stem, and root carbon/nitrogen pools, separate senescence and litter fall processes, fruit growth, optional annual seeding, flood irrigation, a growing degree day phenology with a killing frost option, and a disturbance handler that effectively simulates fertilization, harvest, fire, and incremental irrigation. There are four Agro-BGC vegetation parameters that are unavailable for Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), and to meet the second requirement we have optimized the model across multiple calibration sites to obtain representative values for these parameters. We have verified simulated switchgrass yields against observations at three non-calibration sites in IL. Agro-BGC simulates switchgrass growth and yield at harvest very well at a single site. Our results suggest that a multi-site optimization scheme would be adequate for producing regional-scale estimates of bioenergy crop yields on high spatial resolution grids.

  8. Genetic complexity of miscanthus cell wall composition and biomass quality for biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Weijde, Tim; Kamei, Claire L Alvim; Severing, Edouard I; Torres, Andres F; Gomez, Leonardo D; Dolstra, Oene; Maliepaard, Chris A; McQueen-Mason, Simon J; Visser, Richard G F; Trindade, Luisa M

    2017-05-25

    Miscanthus sinensis is a high yielding perennial grass species with great potential as a bioenergy feedstock. One of the challenges that currently impedes commercial cellulosic biofuel production is the technical difficulty to efficiently convert lignocellulosic biomass into biofuel. The development of feedstocks with better biomass quality will improve conversion efficiency and the sustainability of the value-chain. Progress in the genetic improvement of biomass quality may be substantially expedited by the development of genetic markers associated to quality traits, which can be used in a marker-assisted selection program. To this end, a mapping population was developed by crossing two parents of contrasting cell wall composition. The performance of 182 F1 offspring individuals along with the parents was evaluated in a field trial with a randomized block design with three replicates. Plants were phenotyped for cell wall composition and conversion efficiency characters in the second and third growth season after establishment. A new SNP-based genetic map for M. sinensis was built using a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach, which resulted in 464 short-sequence uniparental markers that formed 16 linkage groups in the male map and 17 linkage groups in the female map. A total of 86 QTLs for a variety of biomass quality characteristics were identified, 20 of which were detected in both growth seasons. Twenty QTLs were directly associated to different conversion efficiency characters. Marker sequences were aligned to the sorghum reference genome to facilitate cross-species comparisons. Analyses revealed that for some traits previously identified QTLs in sorghum occurred in homologous regions on the same chromosome. In this work we report for the first time the genetic mapping of cell wall composition and bioconversion traits in the bioenergy crop miscanthus. These results are a first step towards the development of marker-assisted selection programs in miscanthus

  9. Renewable energy potential from biomass residues in Egypt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Said, N.; Zamorano, M. [Civil Engineering Dept., Univ. of Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, Granada (Spain); El-Shatoury, S.A. [Botany Dept., Faculty of Sciences, Suez Canal Univ., Ismailia (Egypt)

    2012-11-01

    Egypt has been one of the developing countries following successful programs for the development of renewable energy resources, with special emphasis on solar, wind and biomass. Utilization of biomass as a source of energy is important from energetic as well as environmental viewpoint. Furthermore, Egypt produces millions of biomass waste every year causing pollution and health problems. So, the incorporation of biomass with other renewable energy will increase the impact of solving energy and environmental problem. There is a good potential for the utilization of biomass energy resources in Egypt. Four main types of biomass energy sources are included in this study: agricultural residues, municipal solid wastes, animal wastes and sewage sludge. Analysis of the potential biomass resource quantity and its theoretical energy content has been computed according to literature review. The agriculture crop residue represents the main source of biomass waste with a high considerable amount of the theoretical potential energy in Egypt. Rice straw is considered one of the most important of such residue due to its high amount and its produced energy through different conversion techniques represent a suitable candidate for crop energy production in Egypt.

  10. The transfer of radionuclides from contaminated groundwater into perennial ryegrass and winter wheat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wadey, P.; Shaw, G.; Butler, A. P.; Tompkins, J. A.; Wheater, H. S.

    1996-01-01

    Lysimeter studies of the migration of radionuclides from a contaminated water table and their subsequent uptake by plant roots have been undertaken using two distinct soil types and varying crop regimes. An eight year multi-disciplinary research project (funded by Nirex) has concentrated on the upward migration of contaminants from near-surface water tables, and their uptake by winter wheat and perennial ryegrass crops. Experimental data are presented for the movement and uptake of radiocaesium 137 Cs. These data show significant movement in the unsaturated zone during the first year of dosing, followed by progressively reduced availability in subsequent years. A suite of physically based hydrological and solute transport models has been developed to model radionuclide transport in the unsaturated zone. Model simulations, based on a conventional advection-dispersion representation incorporating linear sorption processes, were unable to describe adequately the distribution of radiocaesium within the soil profile. However, the introduction of root storage and translocation processes provided significantly improved results. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. Community outreach and education: key components of the Salix consortium's willow biomass project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volk, T.A.; Edick, S.; Brown, S.; Downing, M.

    1999-01-01

    This project facilitates the commercialization of willow biomass crops as a locally grown source of renewable energy. The challenge is to simultaneously optimize production and utilization technology, develop farmer interest and crop acreage, and establish stable and reliable markets. The participation of farmers and landowners, businesses, and local and regional governments in the process is essential for success. A three-phased approach elicits this participation: focused outreach and education, active involvement of potential producers of willow biomass crops, and the development of a user-friendly economic and business model that can be used by a variety of stakeholders. Barriers to commercialization have been identified, such as misconceptions about the production system and crop, assurances of a stable and reliable market for the material, and indications that the equipment and infrastructure to grow and process willow biomass crops are in place. Outreach efforts have specifically addressed these issues. As a result target audiences' responses have changed from passive observation to inquiries and suggestions for active participation. This shift represents a significant step towards the goal of making willow biomass crops a viable source of locally produced fuel. (author)

  13. Recycling crop residues for use in recirculating hydroponic crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackowiak, C. L.; Garland, J. L.; Sager, J. C.

    1996-01-01

    As part of bioregenerative life support feasibility testing by NASA, crop residues are being used to resupply elemental nutrients to recirculating hydroponic crop production systems. Methods for recovering nutrients from crop residues have evolved from water soaking (leaching) to rapid aerobic bioreactor processing. Leaching residues recovered the majority of elements but it also recovered significant amounts of soluble organics. The high organic content of leachates was detrimental to plant growth. Aerobic bioreactor processing reduced the organic content ten-fold, which reduced or eliminated phytotoxic effects. Wheat and potato production studies were successful using effluents from reactors having with 8- to 1-day retention times. Aerobic bioreactor effluents supplied at least half of the crops elemental mass needs in these studies. Descriptions of leachate and effluent mineral content, biomass productivity, microbial activity, and nutrient budgets for potato and wheat are presented.

  14. The potential of Arachis pintoi biomass to improve quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Muddarisna

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A field experiment that was aimed to elucidate the effects of application of Arachis pintoi biomass and animal dung on quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping was conducted at Jatikerto Village, Kromengan District of Malang Regency. Eight treatments tested were 100% NPK inorganic fertilizer, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi/ha, (3 100 kg N chicken dung/ ha, 100 kg N cow dung /ha, 100 kg N goat dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + chicken dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + cow dung /ha, and 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + goat dung /ha. Monitoring quality of top soil (0-20 cm was carried out at planting time and 3 months after planting. Soil samples were collected and analyzed for chemical and physical properties. Yield of cassava was measured at 6 months after planting. Results of this study showed that application of organic fertilizer in forms of green manure (Arachis pintoi biomass, and animal dung significantly improved physical and chemical properties of soil. Application of 50% NPK combined with organic manures did not significantly gave different tuber yield with that of 100% NPK.

  15. Weed Control with Cover Crops in Irrigated Potatoes

    OpenAIRE

    G.H. Mehring; J.E. Stenger; H.M. Hatterman-Valenti

    2016-01-01

    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, ...

  16. EERC Center for Biomass Utilization 2006

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zygarlicke, Christopher J. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States). Energy and Environmental Research Center; Hurley, John P. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States). Energy and Environmental Research Center; Aulich, Ted R. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States). Energy and Environmental Research Center; Folkedahl, Bruce C. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States). Energy and Environmental Research Center; Strege, Joshua R. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States). Energy and Environmental Research Center; Patel, Nikhil [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States). Energy and Environmental Research Center; Shockey, Richard E. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States). Energy and Environmental Research Center

    2009-05-27

    The Center for Biomass Utilization® 2006 project at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) consisted of three tasks related to applied fundamental research focused on converting biomass feedstocks to energy, liquid transportation fuels, and chemicals. Task 1, entitled Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass to Syngas and Chemical Feedstocks, involved three activities. Task 2, entitled Crop Oil Biorefinery Process Development, involved four activities. Task 3, entitled Management, Education, and Outreach, focused on overall project management and providing educational outreach related to biomass technologies through workshops and conferences.

  17. 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

  18. The biomass file

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    As biomass represents the main source of renewable energy to reach the 23 per cent objective in terms of energy consumption by 2020, a first article gives a synthetic overview of its definition, its origins, its possible uses, its share in the French energy mix, its role by 2020, strengths and weaknesses for its development, the growth potential of its market, and its implications in terms of employment. A second article outlines the assets of biomass, indicates the share of some crops in biomass energy production, and discusses the development of new resources and the possible energy valorisation of various by-products. Interviews about biomass market and development perspectives are proposed with representatives of institutions, energy industries and professional bodies concerned with biomass development and production. Other articles comments the slow development of biomass-based cogeneration, the coming into operation of a demonstration biomass roasting installation in Pau (France), the development potential of biogas in France, the project of bio natural gas vehicles in Lille, and the large development of biogas in Germany

  19. Selecting native perennial plants for ecological intensification in Mediterranean greenhouse horticulture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, E; González, M; Paredes, D; Campos, M; Benítez, E

    2017-12-04

    Natural control by predators and parasitoids provides an important and often unnoticed ecosystem service to agricultural landscapes by reducing pest populations in crops. The current model of horticultural intensification in south-eastern Spain produces high yields but has also resulted in a landscape almost completely covered by plastic. Promoting natural areas among greenhouses could enhance biodiversity, by being beneficial insects, and reduce pest pressure outdoors. The first step is to ascertain how pests and their natural enemies (NEs) use Mediterranean vegetation for selecting the best plants for pest suppression outdoors. The abundance of the two major horticultural pests, the tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, and the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, together with their NEs, were assayed in 22 flowering perennial plants, which were newly planted in an experimental field surrounded by greenhouses. Eight plant species were identified as the most critical species for sustaining pest populations outdoors. A set of five plant species supported a medium level of pests, and another set of ten plant species supported the lowest level of both pests. Tobacco whitefly occurred in a few plants species, whereas western flower thrips occurred on almost all the plant species studied, and was favoured by the presence of flowers in perennial plants. The results suggest that plant diversity may provide relatively few acceptable host plants for tobacco whitefly than for western flower thrips. NEs were generally collected in plants that also supported abundance of pests, indicating that host/prey availability, more than food resources from flowers, was a stronger predictor of NE abundance in perennial plants. Field trials using the plants with the lowest host acceptance by pests are needed in order to ascertain whether pest abundance outdoors is reduced.

  20. 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.

  1. Enhanced Yields in Organic Arable Crop Production by Eco-Functional Intensification using Intercropping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Erik Steen; Bedoussac, Laurent; Carlsson, Georg

    2015-01-01

    for enhancing yields in OA. EFI involves activating more knowledge and intensifying the beneficial effects of ecosystem functions, including agrobiodiversity (planned and associated) and soil fertility, and refocusing the importance of ecosystems services in agriculture. Organic farmers manage agrobiodiversity...... in space by intercropping, fitted into the organic crop rotation, has a strong potential to increase yield and hereby reduce the global environmental effects performance such as GHG per kg organic grain. Finally, we discuss likely barriers for increased use of intercropping in organic farming and suggest...... by planned crop diversification in time (crop rotation). However, cultivating genetically identical plants in OA sole crops (SC), limits resource use efficiency and yield per unit area. Intercropping (IC) of annual species or cultivars, perennial polycultures of forage or grain crops and agroforestry...

  2. Evaluation of plant performance of Jatropha curcas L. under different agro-practices for optimizing biomass - A case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Behera, Soumit K.; Srivastava, Pankaj; Singh, Nandita; Tripathi, Ritu; Singh, J.P.

    2010-01-01

    Jatropha curcas L., a multipurpose, drought resistant, perennial plant belonging to Euphorbiaceae family has gained lot of importance for the production of biodiesel. The properties of the crop and its oil have persuaded investors, policy makers and clean development mechanism (CDM) project developers to consider Jatropha as a substitute for fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, basic agronomic properties of Jatropha are not thoroughly understood and the environmental effects have not been investigated yet. Grey literature reports are very optimistic on simultaneous wasteland reclamation capability and oil yields. Studies were undertaken at Solar Energy Centre, Gurgaon, India to evaluate the plant performance under different agro-practices with special reference to irrigation scheduling, VAM and biofertilizers' applications, plant spacing, pruning trials for maximizing tree architecture and higher biomass. Parallel experiments were undertaken to understand the scope of J. curcas for intercropping practices in the under storey of dominating monoculture tree stands (Prosopis, Acacia and Neem). (author)

  3. Evaluation of plant performance of Jatropha curcas L. under different agro-practices for optimizing biomass - A case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Behera, Soumit K.; Srivastava, Pankaj; Singh, Nandita [National Botanical Research Institute, CSIR, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow 226001, UP (India); Tripathi, Ritu; Singh, J.P. [Solar Energy Centre, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Gwalpahari, Gurgaon (India)

    2010-01-15

    Jatropha curcas L., a multipurpose, drought resistant, perennial plant belonging to Euphorbiaceae family has gained lot of importance for the production of biodiesel. The properties of the crop and its oil have persuaded investors, policy makers and clean development mechanism (CDM) project developers to consider Jatropha as a substitute for fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, basic agronomic properties of Jatropha are not thoroughly understood and the environmental effects have not been investigated yet. Grey literature reports are very optimistic on simultaneous wasteland reclamation capability and oil yields. Studies were undertaken at Solar Energy Centre, Gurgaon, India to evaluate the plant performance under different agro-practices with special reference to irrigation scheduling, VAM and biofertilizers' applications, plant spacing, pruning trials for maximizing tree architecture and higher biomass. Parallel experiments were undertaken to understand the scope of J. curcas for intercropping practices in the under storey of dominating monoculture tree stands (Prosopis, Acacia and Neem). (author)

  4. Seasonal variations of cadmium and zinc in Arrhenatherum elatius, a perennial grass species from highly contaminated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deram, Annabelle; Denayer, Franck-Olivier; Petit, Daniel; Van Haluwyn, Chantal

    2006-01-01

    There is interest in studying bioaccumulation in plants because they form the base of the food chain as well as their potential use in phytoextraction. From this viewpoint, our study deals with the seasonal variation, from January to July, of Cd and Zn bioaccumulation in three metallicolous populations of Arrhenatherum elatius, a perennial grass with a high biomass production. In heavily polluted soils, while Zn bioaccumulation is weak, A. elatius accumulates more Cd than reported gramineous plants, with concentration of up to 100 μg g -1 . Our results also showed seasonal variations of bioaccumulation, underlying the necessity for in situ studies to specify the date of sampling and also the phenology of the collected plant sample. In our experimental conditions, accumulation is lower in June, leading us to the hypothesis of restriction in heavy metals translocation from roots to aerial parts during seed production. - Cd and Zn bioaccumulation varies seasonally in a perennial grass

  5. Seasonal variations of cadmium and zinc in Arrhenatherum elatius, a perennial grass species from highly contaminated soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deram, Annabelle [Institut Lillois d' Ingenierie de la Sante, Universite Droit et Sante de Lille, EA 2690, 42 rue Ambroise Pare, 59120 Loos (France)]. E-mail: aderam@ilis.univ-lille2.fr; Denayer, Franck-Olivier [Institut Lillois d' Ingenierie de la Sante, Universite Droit et Sante de Lille, EA 2690, 42 rue Ambroise Pare, 59120 Loos (France); Petit, Daniel [Laboratoire de Genetique et Evolution des Populations Vegetales, UPRESA-CNRS 8016, Bat SN2, Universite des Sciences et Techniques de Lille, 59655 Villeneuve d' Ascq, F59655 France (France); Van Haluwyn, Chantal [Faculte des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, Departement de Botanique, Universite Droit et Sante de Lille, EA 2690, B.P. 83, 59006 Lille Cedex (France)

    2006-03-15

    There is interest in studying bioaccumulation in plants because they form the base of the food chain as well as their potential use in phytoextraction. From this viewpoint, our study deals with the seasonal variation, from January to July, of Cd and Zn bioaccumulation in three metallicolous populations of Arrhenatherum elatius, a perennial grass with a high biomass production. In heavily polluted soils, while Zn bioaccumulation is weak, A. elatius accumulates more Cd than reported gramineous plants, with concentration of up to 100 {mu}g g{sup -1}. Our results also showed seasonal variations of bioaccumulation, underlying the necessity for in situ studies to specify the date of sampling and also the phenology of the collected plant sample. In our experimental conditions, accumulation is lower in June, leading us to the hypothesis of restriction in heavy metals translocation from roots to aerial parts during seed production. - Cd and Zn bioaccumulation varies seasonally in a perennial grass.

  6. 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

  7. Can phosphorus application and cover cropping alter arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and soybean performance after a five-year phosphorus-unfertilized crop rotational system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higo, Masao; Sato, Ryohei; Serizawa, Ayu; Takahashi, Yuichi; Gunji, Kento; Tatewaki, Yuya; Isobe, Katsunori

    2018-01-01

    Understanding diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is important for optimizing their role for phosphorus (P) nutrition of soybeans ( Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in P-limited soils. However, it is not clear how soybean growth and P nutrition is related to AMF colonization and diversity of AMF communities in a continuous P-unfertilized cover cropping system. Thus, we investigated the impact of P-application and cover cropping on the interaction among AMF colonization, AMF diversity in soybean roots, soybean growth and P nutrition under a five-year P-unfertilized crop rotation. In this study, we established three cover crop systems (wheat, red clover and oilseed rape) or bare fallow in rotation with soybean. The P-application rates before the seeding of soybeans were 52.5 and 157.5 kg ha -1 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. We measured AMF colonization in soybean roots, soybean growth parameters such as aboveground plant biomass, P uptake at the flowering stage and grain yields at the maturity stage in both years. AMF community structure in soybean roots was characterized by specific amplification of small subunit rDNA. The increase in the root colonization at the flowering stage was small as a result of P-application. Cover cropping did not affect the aboveground biomass and P uptake of soybean in both years, but the P-application had positive effects on the soybean performance such as plant P uptake, biomass and grain yield in 2015. AMF communities colonizing soybean roots were also significantly influenced by P-application throughout the two years. Moreover, the diversity of AMF communities in roots was significantly influenced by P-application and cover cropping in both years, and was positively correlated with the soybean biomass, P uptake and grain yield throughout the two years. Our results indicated that P-application rather than cover cropping may be a key factor for improving soybean growth performance with respect to AMF diversity in P-limited cover

  8. Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics for candidate gene prediction in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinozuka Hiroshi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In crop species, QTL analysis is commonly used for identification of factors contributing to variation of agronomically important traits. As an important pasture species, a large number of QTLs have been reported for perennial ryegrass based on analysis of biparental mapping populations. Further characterisation of those QTLs is, however, essential for utilisation in varietal improvement programs. Results A bibliographic survey of perennial ryegrass trait-dissection studies identified a total of 560 QTLs from previously published papers, of which 189, 270 and 101 were classified as morphology-, physiology- and resistance/tolerance-related loci, respectively. The collected dataset permitted a subsequent meta-QTL study and implementation of a cross-species candidate gene identification approach. A meta-QTL analysis based on use of the BioMercator software was performed to identify two consensus regions for pathogen resistance traits. Genes that are candidates for causal polymorphism underpinning perennial ryegrass QTLs were identified through in silico comparative mapping using rice databases, and 7 genes were assigned to the p150/112 reference map. Markers linked to the LpDGL1, LpPh1 and LpPIPK1 genes were located close to plant size, leaf extension time and heading date-related QTLs, respectively, suggesting that these genes may be functionally associated with important agronomic traits in perennial ryegrass. Conclusions Functional markers are valuable for QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics. Enrichment of such genetic markers may permit further detailed characterisation of QTLs. The outcomes of QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics studies may be useful for accelerated development of novel perennial ryegrass cultivars with desirable traits.

  9. The biofuel potential of crop based biomass in Denmark in 2020; Danmarks potentiale for afgroedebaseret biobraendstofproduktion i aar 2020

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bertelsen Blume, S

    2008-02-15

    According to climate change observations and foresights several countries including Denmark have committed to reduce GHGemissions. However, the transport sector is still increasing its GHGemissions. Substitution of fossil fuels with biofuels seems to be the best way to reduce CO{sub 2}-emission from this sector on the shorter term. This project evaluates how Denmark can produce enough biofuels to fulfil the political goal of 10 % substitution of the fossil fuel consumption in the year of 2020. This project also approaches the suitability of different crop species to the biofuel industry. Maize and sugar beet are the most suitable crops for biofuel production when only focusing on maximum biofuel yield. Alfalfa is likewise showings great potential and is the most suitable crop in terms of sustainable biofuel production, because of low energy requirements (diesel, fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation) during cropping. Even though maize has higher needs for energy during cropping, it will still be suitable for sustainable biofuel production because of the high biofuel yield. Present calculations show that it is possible to meet the required amount of biofuels by using domestic biomass, which is currently exported (cereal grain) or not utilized (eg. straw). However, these calculations assume that it will become possible to convert the whole amount of carbohydrates into biofuel before 2020. In terms of assessing the biofuel production potential three storylines are defined for the development until 2020. Changes in land use and crop composition are suggested for each storyline to adjust the biofuel production to Danish agriculture. The biofuel production potential is also assessed for two regions in Denmark. Here the region of Storstroem shows greater potential than the region of Soenderjylland because of low density of domestic animals. (au)

  10. Biomass production and water use efficiency in perennial grasses during and after drought stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Kirsten Kørup; Lærke, Poul Erik; Sørensen, Helle Baadsgaard

    2018-01-01

    be suitable for assessment of drought stress. There were indications of positive associations between plants carbon isotope composition and water use efficiency (WUE) as well as DM under well-watered conditions. Compared to control, drought-treated plots showed increased growth in the period after drought...... stress. Thus, the drought events did not affect total biomass production (DMtotal) of the whole growing season. During drought stress and the whole growing season, WUE was higher in drought-treated compared to control plots, so it seems possible to save water without loss of biomass. Across soil types, M......Drought is a great challenge to agricultural production, and cultivation of drought-tolerant or water use-efficient cultivars is important to ensure high biomass yields for bio-refining and bioenergy. Here, we evaluated drought tolerance of four C3 species, Dactylis glomerata cvs. Sevenop and Amba...

  11. The effect of D123 wheat as a companion crop on soil enzyme activities, microbial biomass and microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Hui Xu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The growth of watermelon is often threatened by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (Fon in successively monocultured soil, which results in economic loss. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of D123 wheat as a companion crop on soil enzyme activities, microbial biomass and microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon and to explore the relationship between the effect and the incidence of wilt caused by Fon. The results showed that the activities of soil polyphenol oxidase, urease and invertase were increased, the microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN and microbial biomass phosphorus (MBP were significantly increased, and the ratio of MBC/MBN was decreased (P<0.05. Real-time PCR analysis showed that the Fon population declined significantly in the watermelon/wheat companion system compared with the monoculture system (P<0.05. The analysis of microbial communities showed that the relative abundance of microbial communities was changed in the rhizosphere of watermelon. Compared with the monoculture system, the relative abundances of Alphaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and Sordariomycetes were increased, and the relative abundances of Gammaproteobacteria, Sphingobacteria, Cytophagia, Pezizomycetes, and Eurotiomycetes were decreased in the rhizosphere of watermelon in the watermelon/wheat companion system; importantly, the incidence of Fusarium wilt was also decreased in the watermelon/wheat companion system. In conclusion, this study indicated that D123 wheat as a companion crop increased soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass, decreased the Fon population, and changed the relative abundance of microbial communities in the rhizosphere of watermelon, which may be related to the reduction of Fusarium wilt in the watermelon/wheat companion system.

  12. 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)

  13. 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...

  14. Nitrogen removal and nitrate leaching for two perennial, sod-based forage systems receiving dairy effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, Kenneth R; French, Edwin C; Sweat, Lewin A; Graetz, Donald A; Sollenberger, Lynn E; Macoon, Bisoondat; Portier, Kenneth M; Rymph, Stuart J; Wade, Brett L; Prine, Gordon M; Van Horn, Harold H

    2003-01-01

    In northern Florida, year-round forage systems are used in dairy effluent sprayfields to reduce nitrate leaching. Our purpose was to quantify forage N removal and monitor nitrate N (NO3(-)-N) concentration below the rooting zone for two perennial, sod-based, triple-cropping systems over four 12-mo cycles (1996-2000). The soil is an excessively drained Kershaw sand (thermic, uncoated Typic Quartzip-samment). Effluent N rates were 500, 690, and 910 kg ha(-1) per cycle. Differences in N removal between a corn (Zea mays L.)-bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.)-rye (Secale cereale L.) system (CBR) and corn-perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.)-rye system (CPR) were primarily related to the performance of the perennial forages. Nitrogen removal of corn (125-170 kg ha(-1)) and rye (62-90 kg ha(-1)) was relatively stable between systems and among cycles. The greatest N removal was measured for CBR in the first cycle (408 kg ha(-1)), with the bermudagrass removing an average of 191 kg N ha(-1). In later cycles, N removal for bermudagrass declined because dry matter (DM) yield declined. Yield and N removal of perennial peanut increased over the four cycles. Nitrate N concentrations below the rooting zone were lower for CBR than CPR in the first two cycles, but differences were inconsistent in the latter two. The CBR system maintained low NO3(-)-N leaching in the first cycle when the bermudagrass was the most productive; however, it was not a sustainable system for long-term prevention of NO3(-)-N leaching due to declining bermudagrass yield in subsequent cycles. For CPR, effluent N rates > or = 500 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) have the potential to negatively affect ground water quality.

  15. Biomass potential

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asplund, D [VTT Energy, Espoo (Finland)

    1997-12-31

    Biomass resources of the industrialised countries are enormous, if only a small fraction of set-aside fields were used for energy crops. Forest resources could also be utilised more efficiently than at present for large-scale energy production. The energy content of the annual net growth of the total wood biomass is estimated to be 180 million toe in Europe without the former USSR, and about 50 million toe of that in the EC area, in 1990. Presently, the harvesting methods of forest biomass for energy production are not yet generally competitive. Among the most promising methods are integrated harvesting methods, which supply both raw material to the industry and wood fuel for energy production. Several new methods for separate harvesting of energy wood are being developed in many countries. (orig.)

  16. Biomass potential

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asplund, D. [VTT Energy, Espoo (Finland)

    1996-12-31

    Biomass resources of the industrialised countries are enormous, if only a small fraction of set-aside fields were used for energy crops. Forest resources could also be utilised more efficiently than at present for large-scale energy production. The energy content of the annual net growth of the total wood biomass is estimated to be 180 million toe in Europe without the former USSR, and about 50 million toe of that in the EC area, in 1990. Presently, the harvesting methods of forest biomass for energy production are not yet generally competitive. Among the most promising methods are integrated harvesting methods, which supply both raw material to the industry and wood fuel for energy production. Several new methods for separate harvesting of energy wood are being developed in many countries. (orig.)

  17. Residual soil nitrate content and profitability of five cropping systems in northwest Iowa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L De Haan

    Full Text Available Many communities in the Midwestern United States obtain their drinking water from shallow alluvial wells that are vulnerable to contamination by NO3-N from the surrounding agricultural landscape. The objective of this research was to assess cropping systems with the potential to produce a reasonable return for farmers while simultaneously reducing the risk of NO3-N movement into these shallow aquifers. From 2009 to 2013 we conducted a field experiment in northwest Iowa in which we evaluated five cropping systems for residual (late fall soil NO3-N content and profitability. Soil samples were taken annually from the top 30 cm of the soil profile in June and August, and from the top 180 cm in November (late fall. The November samples were divided into 30 cm increments for analysis. Average residual NO3-N content in the top 180 cm of the soil profile following the 2010 to 2013 cropping years was 134 kg ha-1 for continuous maize (Zea mays L. with a cereal rye (Secale cereale L. cover crop, 18 kg ha-1 for perennial grass, 60 kg ha-1 for a three year oat (Avena sativa L.-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.-maize rotation, 85 kg ha-1 for a two year oat/red clover (Trifolium pratense L.-maize rotation, and 90 kg ha-1 for a three year soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr.-winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.-maize rotation. However, residual NO3-N in the 90 to 180 cm increment of the soil profile was not significantly higher in the oat-alfalfa-maize cropping system than the perennial grass system. For 2010 to 2013, average profit ($ ha-1 yr-1 was 531 for continuous corn, 347 for soybean-winter wheat-maize, 264 for oat-alfalfa-maize, 140 for oat/red clover-maize, and -384 (loss for perennial grass. Considering both residual soil NO3-N and profitability data, the oat-alfalfa-maize rotation performed the best in this setting. However, given current economic pressures widespread adoption is likely to require changes in public policy.

  18. The current breeding programme on industrial crops in Indonesia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamid, Auzay; Abdullah, N.

    1982-01-01

    There are two main constraints why breeding programme of most industrial crops can not be carried out smoothly. Firstly, most of the industrial crops belong to a perennial group with a relatively long life circle. Secondly, a greater part of them have a very limited genetic diversities in the nature. The low yield capacity per hectare of some crops are mainly due to certain diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes, besides several kinds of pests. Efforts have been done to overcome these problems, particularly through improvements of cultural practices, as well as plant breeding, however, major parts of those problems are not solved yet. This paper reviews several problems of industrial crops of economic importance in connection with several aspects of breeding works done in the past and recently faced by ICRI and farmers. It seems that nuclear techniques as a new means in breeding programmes is badly needed, especially to certain crops with a narrow spectrum of genetic diversities with special reference to seek for plants which are expected to be resistant to major diseases and pests. (author)

  19. Cover crop residue effects on machine-induced soil compaction

    OpenAIRE

    Ess, Daniel R.

    1994-01-01

    Crop production systems which utilize the biomass produced by rye (Secale cereale ) to suppress weed growth and conserve soil moisture have been developed at Virginia Tech. The success of alternative, reduced-input crop production systems has encouraged research into the potential for breaking the traffic-tillage cycle associated with conventional tillage crop production systems. The fragile residues encountered in agricultural crop production, whether incorporated into the ...

  20. Residue and soil carbon sequestration in relation to crop yield as affected by irrigation, tillage, cropping system and nitrogen fertilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information on management practices is needed to increase surface residue and soil C sequestration to obtain farm C credit. The effects of irrigation, tillage, cropping system, and N fertilization were evaluated on the amount of crop biomass (stems and leaves) returned to the soil, surface residue C...

  1. Effects of crop species richness on pest-natural enemy systems based on an experimental model system using a microlandscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, ZiHua; Shi, PeiJian; Men, XingYuan; Ouyang, Fang; Ge, Feng

    2013-08-01

    The relationship between crop richness and predator-prey interactions as they relate to pest-natural enemy systems is a very important topic in ecology and greatly affects biological control services. The effects of crop arrangement on predator-prey interactions have received much attention as the basis for pest population management. To explore the internal mechanisms and factors driving the relationship between crop richness and pest population management, we designed an experimental model system of a microlandscape that included 50 plots and five treatments. Each treatment had 10 repetitions in each year from 2007 to 2010. The results showed that the biomass of pests and their natural enemies increased with increasing crop biomass and decreased with decreasing crop biomass; however, the effects of plant biomass on the pest and natural enemy biomass were not significant. The relationship between adjacent trophic levels was significant (such as pests and their natural enemies or crops and pests), whereas non-adjacent trophic levels (crops and natural enemies) did not significantly interact with each other. The ratio of natural enemy/pest biomass was the highest in the areas of four crop species that had the best biological control service. Having either low or high crop species richness did not enhance the pest population management service and lead to loss of biological control. Although the resource concentration hypothesis was not well supported by our results, high crop species richness could suppress the pest population, indicating that crop species richness could enhance biological control services. These results could be applied in habitat management aimed at biological control, provide the theoretical basis for agricultural landscape design, and also suggest new methods for integrated pest management.

  2. Soil water effect on crop growth, leaf gas exchange, water and radiation use efficiency of Saccharum spontaneum L. ssp. aegyptiacum (Willd. Hackel in semi-arid Mediterranean environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Scordia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Great effort has been placed to identify the most suited bioenergy crop under different environments and management practices, however, there is still need to find new genetic resources for constrained areas. For instance, South Mediterranean area is strongly affected by prolonged drought, high vapour pressure deficit (VPD and extremely high temperatures during summertime. In the present work we investigated the soil water effect on crop growth and leaf gas exchange of Saccharum spontaneum L. ssp. aegyptiacum (Willd. Hackel, a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous grass. Furthermore, the net increase of biomass production per unit light intercepted [radiation use efficiency (RUE] and per unit water transpired [water use efficiency (WUE] was also studied. To this end a field trial was carried out imposing three levels of soil water availability (I100, I50 and I0, corresponding to 100%, 50% and 0% of ETm restutition under a semi-arid Mediterranean environment. Leaf area index (LAI, stem height, biomass dry matter yield, CO2 assimilation rate, and transpiration rate resulted significantly affected by measurement time and irrigation treatment, with the highest values in I100 and the lowest in I0. RUE was the highest in I100 followed by I50 and I0; on the other hand, WUE was higher in I0 than I50 and I100. At LAI values greater than 2.0, 85% photosynthetically active radiation was intercepted by the Saccharum stand, irrespective of the irrigation treatment. Saccharum spontaneum spp. aegyptiacum is a potential species for biomass production in environment characterized by drought stress, high temperatures and high VPD, as those of Southern Europe and similar semi-arid areas.

  3. Effect of different cover crops on C and N cycling in sorghum NT systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frasier, Ileana; Quiroga, Alberto; Noellemeyer, Elke

    2016-08-15

    In many no-till (NT) systems, residue input is low and fallow periods excessive, for which reasons soil degradation occurs. Cover crops could improve organic matter, biological activity, and soil structure. In order to study changes in soil carbon, nitrogen and microbial biomass a field experiment (2010-2012) was set up with sorghum (Sorghum bicolor Moench.) monoculture and with cover crops. Treatments were control (NT with bare fallow), rye (Secale cereale L.) (R), rye with nitrogen fertilization (R+N), vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.) (V), and rye-vetch mixture (VR) cover crops. A completely randomized block design with 4 replicates was used. Soil was sampled once a year at 0.06 and 0.12m depth for total C, microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and-nitrogen (MBN) determinations. Shoot and root biomass of sorghum and cover crops, litter biomass, and their respective carbon and nitrogen contents were determined. Soil temperatures at 0.06 and 0.12m depth, volumetric water contents and nitrate concentrations were determined at sowing, and harvest of each crop, and during sorghum's vegetative phase. NT led to a small increase in MBC and MBN, despite low litter and root biomass residue. Cover crops increased litter, root biomass, total C, MBC, and MBN. Relationships between MBC, MBN, and root-C and -N adjusted to logistic models (R(2)=0.61 and 0.43 for C and N respectively). Litter cover improved soil moisture to 45-50% water filled pore space and soil temperatures not exceeding 25°C during the warmest month. Microbial biomass stabilized at 20.1gCm(-2) and 1.9gNm(-2) in the upper 0.06m. Soil litter disappearance was a good indicator of mineral N availability. These findings support the view that cover crops, specifically legumes in NT systems can increase soil ecosystem services related to water and carbon storage, habitat for biodiversity, and nutrient availability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Insight on Biomass Supply and Feedstock Definition for Fischer-Tropsch Based BTL Processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coignac, Julien

    2013-01-01

    Process chains of thermo chemical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass through gasification and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (known as BTL) represent promising alternatives for biofuels production. Since biomass is heterogeneous and not homogeneously spread over territories, one of the major technological stakes of the project is to develop a flexible industrial chain capable of co-treating the widest possible range of biomass and fossil fuel feedstock. The present study aims at characterizing biomass diversity (availability and potentials by area, cost and mineral composition) by carrying out a state of the art, as a preliminary step in order to define a series of biomass to be tested in the demonstration plant and therefore define specifications for the process. Fifty different biomass were considered for their bio-energy application potential and were finally classified into four categories: agricultural by-products, dedicated energy crops, (Very) Short Rotation Coppice ((V)SRC) and forestry biomass. Biomass availability and potentials were investigated by the mean of a literature review of past and current projects (e.g. RENEW project, Biomass Energy Europe Project, etc.) and scientific articles. Most collected data are technical potentials, meaning that they take into account biophysical limits of crops and forests, technological possibilities, competition with other land uses and ecological constraints (e.g. natural reserves). Results show various emerging markets: North and South America have considerable amounts of agricultural by-products, forest residues, and large land areas which could be dedicated to energy crops; Africa shows relevant possibilities to grow Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) and energy crops; Russia has large available quantities of agricultural by-products and forest residues, as well as little valuable land where energy crops and SRC could be grown, and Asia shows relevant amounts of forest residues and possibilities of growing SRC, as well

  5. Managed Multi-strata Tree + Crop Systems: An Agroecological Marvel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. K. Ramachandran Nair

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Today, when the emphasis on single-species production systems that is cardinal to agricultural and forestry programs the world over has resulted in serious ecosystem imbalances, the virtues of the time-tested practice of growing different species together as in managed Multi-strata Tree + Crop (MTC systems deserve serious attention. The coconut-palm-based multispecies systems in tropical homegardens and shaded perennial systems are just two such systems. A fundamental ecological principle of these systems is niche complementarity, which implies that systems that are structurally and functionally more complex than crop- or tree monocultures result in greater efficiency of resource (nutrients, light, and water capture and utilization. Others include spatial and temporal heterogeneity, perennialism, and structural and functional diversity. Unexplored or under-exploited areas of benefits of MTC systems include their ecosystem services such as carbon storage, climate regulation, and biodiversity conservation. These multispecies integrated systems indeed represent an agroecological marvel, the principles of which could be utilized in the design of sustainable as well as productive agroecosystems. Environmental and ecological specificity of MTC systems, however, is a unique feature that restricts their comparison with other land-use systems and extrapolation of the management features used in one location to another.

  6. Symbiotic N2-fixation by the cover crop Pueraria phaseoloides as influenced by litter mineralization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vesterager, J.M.; Østerby, S.; Jensen, E.S.

    1995-01-01

    The perennial legume Pueraria phaseoloides is widely used as a cover crop in rubber and oil palm plantations. However, very little knowledge exists on the effect of litter mineralization from P. phaseoloides on its symbiotic N-2- fixation. The contribution from symbiotic N-2-fixation (Ndfa...

  7. Sustainable Use of Biotechnology for Bioenergy Feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Hong S.; Abercrombie, Jason M.; Kausch, Albert P.; Stewart, C. Neal

    2010-10-01

    Done correctly, cellulosic bioenergy should be both environmentally and economically beneficial. Carbon sequestration and decreased fossil fuel use are both worthy goals in developing next-generation biofuels. We believe that biotechnology will be needed to significantly improve yield and digestibility of dedicated perennial herbaceous biomass feedstocks, such as switchgrass and Miscanthus, which are native to the US and China, respectively. This Forum discusses the sustainability of herbaceous feedstocks relative to the regulation of biotechnology with regards to likely genetically engineered traits. The Forum focuses on two prominent countries wishing to develop their bioeconomies: the US and China. These two countries also share a political desire and regulatory frameworks to enable the commercialization and wide release of transgenic feedstocks with appropriate and safe new genetics. In recent years, regulators in both countries perform regular inspections of transgenic field releases and seriously consider compliance issues, even though the US framework is considered to be more mature and stringent. Transgene flow continues to be a pertinent environmental and regulatory issue with regards to transgenic plants. This concern is largely driven by consumer issues and ecological uncertainties. Regulators are concerned about large-scale releases of transgenic crops that have sexually compatible crops or wild relatives that can stably harbor transgenes via hybridization and introgression. Therefore, prior to the commercialization or extensive field testing of transgenic bioenergy feedstocks, we recommend that mechanisms that ensure biocontainment of transgenes be instituted, especially for perennial grasses. A cautionary case study will be presented in which a plant’s biology and ecology conspired against regulatory constraints in a non-biomass crop perennial grass (creeping bentgrass, Agrostis stolonifera), in which biocontainment was not attained. Appropriate

  8. 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

  9. Effects of biomass chains on land use and soil quality in the Netherlands. Development and application of a framework for testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Moolenaar, S.W.; Elbersen, H.W.; Annevelink, E.

    2007-03-01

    maintaining good soil quality (closed C cycle), if this is obtained from the anaerobic digestion of biomass or from crops cultivated for second generation transport biofuels. To obtain these benefits, anaerobic digestion must be organised in a decentralised, land-based system and the digestate must be optimally used to compensate for the degradation of organic matter. A condition for crops grown for second generation technologies is that the remaining organic matter (root system of perennial crops; cereal straw) is used to compensate for the breakdown of organic matter in the soil. We also see a number of threats. The use of digestate as a soil improver (addition of organic matter) is at odds with the statutory requirement to register it as a animal manure. This could lead to insufficient application of organic matter and impoverishment of the soil. At the same time there is a real risk of rising nutrient surpluses, which could lead to serious eutrophication in the absence of statutory regulation. We conclude that the cultivation of energy crops for first generation transport biofuels does not have a closed carbon cycle and will eventually lead to impoverishment of the soil. The cultivation of cereals for second generation technologies presents a threat to soil organic matter content if insufficient straw is left on the land. It is recommended that bottlenecks in the use of digestate are resolved, both in relation to agricultural practice and policy development. Final recommendation is that a good monitoring system for organic matter content and supply is established to safeguard good soil quality as part of sustainable bioenergy production. [nl

  10. Alley cropping of legumes with grasses as forages : Effect of different grass species and row spacing of gliricidia on the growth and biomass production of forages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siti Yuhaeni

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available A study to evaluate the effect of different grass species and row spacing of gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium on the growth and biomass production of forages in an alley cropping system was conducted in two different agroclimatical zones i.e. Bogor, located at 500 m a .s .l . with an average annual rainfall of 3,112 nun/year and Sukabumi located at 900 m a .s .l . with an average annual rainfall of 1,402 mm/year . Both locations have low N, P, and K content and the soil is classified as acidic. The experimental design used was a split plot design with 3 replicates . The main plots were different grass species i.e. king grass (Pennisetum purpureum x P. typhoides and elephant grass (P. purpureum. The sub plots were the row spacing of gliricidia at 2, 3, 4, 6 m (1 hedgerows and 4 m (2 hedgerows. The results indicated that the growth and biomass production of grasses were significantly affected (P<0 .05 by the treatments in Bogor. The highest biomass productions was obtained from the 2 m row spacing which gave the highest dry matter production of grasses (1 .65 kg/hill and gliricidia (0 .086 kg/tree . In Sukabumi the growth and biomass production of grasses and gliricidia were also significantly affected by the treatments . The highest dry matter production was obtained with 2 m row spacing (dry matter of grasses and gliricidia were 1 .12 kg/hill and 0 .026 kg/tree, respectively . The result further indicated that biomass production of forages increased with the increase in gliricidia population. The alley cropping system wich is suitable for Bogor was the 2 m row spacing of gliricidia intercropped with either king or elephant grass and for Sukabumi 2 and 4 m (2 rows of gliricidia row spacing intercropped with king or elephant grass .

  11. Semi-continuous anaerobic digestion of different silage crops: VFAs formation, methane yield from fiber and non-fiber components and digestate composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokój, T; Bułkowska, K; Gusiatin, Z M; Klimiuk, E; Jankowski, K J

    2015-08-01

    This study presents the results of long-term semi-continuous experiments on anaerobic digestion at an HRT of 45d with ten silages: 2 annual and 4 perennial crops, and 4 mixtures of annual with perennial crops. The composition of substrates and digestates was determined with Van Soest's fractionation method. Removal of non-fiber materials ranged from 49.4% (Miscanthus sacchariflorus) to 89.3% (Zea mays alone and mixed with M. sacchariflorus), that of fiber materials like lignin ranged from 0.005% (Z. mays alone and mixed with grasses at VS ratio of 90:10%) to 46.5% (Sida hermaphrodita). The lowest stability of anaerobic digestion, as confirmed by normalized data concentrations of volatile fatty acids, was reported for both miscanthuses and sugar sorghum. The methane yield coefficients for non-fiber and fiber materials were 0.3666 and 0.2556L/g, respectively. All digestate residues had high fertilizing value, especially those from mixtures of crops. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Environmental emissions and socioeconomic considerations in the production, storage, and transportation of biomass energy feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perlack, R.D.; Ranney, J.W.; Wright, L.L.

    1992-07-01

    An analysis was conducted to identify major sources and approximate levels of emissions to land, air, and water, that may result, in the year 2010, from supplying biofuel conversion facilities with energy crops. Land, fuel, and chemicals are all used in the establishment, maintenance, harvest, handling and transport of energy crops. The operations involved create soil erosion and compaction, particulate releases, air emissions from fuel use and chemical applications, and runoff or leachate. The analysis considered five different energy facility locations (each in a different major crop growing region) and three classes of energy crops -- woody crops, perennial herbaceous grasses, and an annual herbaceous crop (sorghum). All projections had to be based on reasonable assumptions regarding probable species used, type of land used, equipment requirements, chemical input requirements, and transportation fuel types. Emissions were summarized by location and class of energy crop.

  13. Environmental emissions and socioeconomic considerations in the production, storage, and transportation of biomass energy feedstocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perlack, R.D.; Ranney, J.W.; Wright, L.L.

    1992-07-01

    An analysis was conducted to identify major sources and approximate levels of emissions to land, air, and water, that may result, in the year 2010, from supplying biofuel conversion facilities with energy crops. Land, fuel, and chemicals are all used in the establishment, maintenance, harvest, handling and transport of energy crops. The operations involved create soil erosion and compaction, particulate releases, air emissions from fuel use and chemical applications, and runoff or leachate. The analysis considered five different energy facility locations (each in a different major crop growing region) and three classes of energy crops -- woody crops, perennial herbaceous grasses, and an annual herbaceous crop (sorghum). All projections had to be based on reasonable assumptions regarding probable species used, type of land used, equipment requirements, chemical input requirements, and transportation fuel types. Emissions were summarized by location and class of energy crop

  14. Spatio-temporal Eigenvector Filtering: Application on Bioenergy Crop Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, M.; Kamarianakis, Y.; Georgescu, M.

    2017-12-01

    A suite of 10-year ensemble-based simulations was conducted to investigate the hydroclimatic impacts due to large-scale deployment of perennial bioenergy crops across the continental United States. Given the large size of the simulated dataset (about 60Tb), traditional hierarchical spatio-temporal statistical modelling cannot be implemented for the evaluation of physics parameterizations and biofuel impacts. In this work, we propose a filtering algorithm that takes into account the spatio-temporal autocorrelation structure of the data while avoiding spatial confounding. This method is used to quantify the robustness of simulated hydroclimatic impacts associated with bioenergy crops to alternative physics parameterizations and observational datasets. Results are evaluated against those obtained from three alternative Bayesian spatio-temporal specifications.

  15. Diversity of segetal weeds in pea (Pisum sativum L. depending on crops chosen for a crop rotation system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta K. Kostrzewska

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This study, lasting from 1999 to 2006, was conducted at the Research Station in Tomaszkowo, which belongs to the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. The experiment was set up on brown rusty soil classified as good rye complex 5 in the Polish soil valuation system. The analysis comprised weeds in fields sown with pea cultivated in two four-field crop rotation systems with a different first crop: A. potato – spring barley – pea – spring barley; B. mixture of spring barley with pea – spring barley – pea – spring barley. Every year, at the 2–3 true leaf stage of pea, the species composition and density of individual weed species were determined; in addition, before harvesting the main crop, the dry matter of weeds was weighed. The results were used to analyze the constancy of weed taxa, species diversity, and the evenness and dominance indices, to determine the relationships between all biological indicators analyzed and weather conditions, and to calculate the indices of similarity, in terms of species composition, density and biomass of weeds, between the crop rotations compared. The species richness, density and biomass of weeds in fields with field pea were not differentiated by the choice of the initial crop in a given rotation system. In the spring, the total number of identified taxa was 28 and it increased to 36 before the harvest of pea plants. Chenopodium album and Echinochloa crus-galli were the most numerous. Chenopodium album, Echinochloa crus-galli, Sonchus arvensis, Fallopia convolvulus and Viola arvensis were constant in all treatments, regardless of what the first crop in rotation was or when the observations were made. The species diversity and the evenness and species dominance indices varied significantly between years and dates of observations. Species diversity calculated on the basis of the density of weed species was higher in the rotation with a mixture of cereals and legumes, while that calculated on

  16. Nitrate Leaching From Grain Maize After Different Tillage Methods and Long/Short Term Cover Cropping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Elly Møller

    trial initiated in 1968 on a coarse sandy soil. The previous trial included spring sown crops undersown (with or without) perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) as cover crop, two N-rates (90 and 120 kg N ha-1) and different tillage methods (shallow tillage and ploughing autumn or spring). With maize......) previous history of long-term cover cropping, ii) soil tillage methods, iii) N rates and iv) present short-term use of cover cropping in maize. Preliminary results from 2009 – 2011 suggest that leaching after a history of cover cropping tended to be higher than after no history of cover cropping......, but the effect was insignificant. The effect of tillage and previous N rates were also insignificant but the present use of cover crops had a small but significant decreasing effect on leaching compared to no cover cropping. The cover crop was well established in both years but grew less vigorously during autumn...

  17. Perrenial Grasses for Sustainable European Protein Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe; Lærke, Poul Erik

    2016-01-01

    reduction goals for agriculture. Denmark has an especially vulnerable aquatic environment due to sandy soils, a long coast line, and high precipitation. Thus, fulfilling the WFD means some areas must halve their nitrate leaching, and radical changes are required to reduce losses while maintaining profitable...... crop production. National scenarios show that up to ten million tonnes of additional biomass can be sourced in Denmark without reducing food production or increasing the area under cultivation if a biorefinery industry is established. In one of the scenarios optimized for additional environmental...... in the “environment” scenario. This scenario was achieved by converting approx. 9 % of agricultural land from annual crops into perennial grass. New experimental results support the anticipated increase in total biomass yield and reduction in nitrate leaching, when converting land currently used for grain crop...

  18. Short-term contributions of cover crop surface residue return to soil carbon and nitrogen contents in temperate Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaoqi; Wu, Hanwen; Li, Guangdi; Chen, Chengrong

    2016-11-01

    Cover crop species are usually grown to control weeds. After cover crop harvest, crop residue is applied on the ground to improve soil fertility and crop productivity. Little information is available about quantifying the contributions of cover crop application to soil total carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents in temperate Australia. Here, we selected eight cover crop treatments, including two legume crops (vetch and field pea), four non-legume crops (rye, wheat, Saia oat, and Indian mustard), a mixture of rye and vetch, and a nil-crop control in temperate Australia to calculate the contributions of cover crops (crop growth + residue decomposition) to soil C and N contents. Cover crops were sown in May 2009 (autumn). After harvest, the crop residue was placed on the soil surface in October 2009. Soil and crop samples were collected in October 2009 after harvest and in May 2010 after 8 months of residue decomposition. We examined cover crop residue biomass, soil and crop total C and N contents, and soil microbial biomass C and N contents. The results showed that cover crop application increased the mean soil total C by 187-253 kg ha -1 and the mean soil total N by 16.3-19.1 kg ha -1 relative to the nil-crop treatment, except for the mixture treatment, which had similar total C and N contents to the nil-crop control. Cover crop application increased the mean soil microbial biomass C by 15.5-20.9 kg ha -1 and the mean soil microbial biomass N by 4.5-10.2 kg ha -1 . We calculated the apparent percentage of soil total C derived from cover crop residue C losses and found that legume crops accounted for 10.6-13.9 %, whereas non-legume crops accounted for 16.4-18.4 % except for the mixture treatment (0.2 %). Overall, short-term cover crop application increased soil total C and N contents and microbial biomass C and N contents, which might help reduce N fertilizer use and improve sustainable agricultural development.

  19. Effects of different crop associations and fertilizer types on weed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Ibadan in 1998/1999 and 1999/2000 cropping seasons to determine the effects of different crop associations and fertilizer types on the weed biomass. The results showed that crop associations did not significantly affect weed density and ...

  20. Determinants of crop diversity and composition in Enset-coffee agroforestry homegardens of Southern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tesfaye Abebe

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Households in much of the tropics depend for their livelihoods on the variety and continued production of food and other products that are provided by their own farms. In such systems, maintenance of agrobiodiversity and ensuring food security are important for the well being of the population. The enset-coffee agroforestry homegardens of Southern Ethiopia that are dominated by two native perennial crops, Coffee (Coffea arabica L. and Enset (Enset ventricosum Welw. Cheesman, are examples of such agricultural systems. This study was conducted in Sidama administrative zone of Southern Ethiopia to determine the factors that influence the diversity and composition of crops in the systems. Data were collected from 144 sample homegardens selected from four districts. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to relate indices of crop diversity and area share of major crops with the physical and socioeconomic factors. The study revealed that socioeconomic factors, mainly proximity to markets, affected negatively crop species richness. The production area of the main crops enset and coffee decreased with increasing proximity to market and road while that of maize and khat increased. At household level, farm size had a significant effect on area share of enset and coffee. As farm size increased the share of the cash crop, coffee increased but that of the staple, enset declined. Enset, which is the backbone of the system in terms of food security, is declining on small farms and the share of monoculture maize system is increasing. The trend towards declining agrobiodiversity, and reduction in the production area of the main perennial crops and their gradual replacement with monoculture fields could make the systems liable to instability and collapse. As these sites are high potential agricultural areas, intensification can be achieved by integrating high-value and more productive crops, such as fruits, spices and vegetables, while maintaining the

  1. Catch crop biomass production, nitrogen uptake and root development under different tillage systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkholm, Lars Juhl; Hansen, Elly Møller

    2012-01-01

    tinctoria L.), perennial ryegrass (RG) (Lolium perenne L.) and fodder radish (FR) (Raphanus sativus L.) under three tillage systems. For that, we used a tillage experiment established in 2002 on a Danish sandy loam. The tillage treatments were direct drilling (D), harrowing to 8–10 cm (H) and ploughing (P...

  2. Combining drought survival via summer dormancy and annual biomass productivity in Dactylis glomerata L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajae eKallida

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Under Mediterranean climates, the best strategy to produce rain-fed fodder crops is to develop perennial drought resistant varieties. Summer dormancy present in native germplasm has been shown to confer a high level of survival under severe drought. Nevertheless it has also been shown to be negatively correlated with annual biomass productivity. The aim of this study was to analyse the correlations between summer dormancy and annual biomass productivity related traits and to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL for these traits in a progeny of a summer dormant cocksfoot parent (Kasbah and a summer active parent (Medly. A total of 283 offspring and the parents were phenotyped for summer dormancy, plant growth rate and heading date in Morocco and for maximum leaf elongation rate (LERm in France. The individuals were genotyped with a total of 325 markers including 59 AFLP, 64 SSR and 202 DArT markers. The offspring exhibited a large quantitative variation for all measured traits. Summer dormancy showed a negative correlation with both plant growth rate (-0.34 p<0.005 and LERm (-0.27 p<0.005. However, genotypes with both a high level of summer dormancy and a high level of plant growth rate were detected in the progeny. One genetic map per parent was built with a total length of 377 and 423 cM for Kasbah and Medly, respectively. Both different and co-localised QTL for summer dormancy and plant growth rate were identified. These results demonstrate that it should be possible to create summer dormant cocksfoot varieties with a high annual biomass productivity.

  3. Development of Sustainable Landscape Designs for Improved Biomass Production in the U.S. Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonner, Ian J.

    Demand for renewable and sustainable energy options has resulted in a significant commitment by the US Government to research pathways for fuel production from biomass. The research presented in this thesis describes one potential pathway to increase the amount of biomass available for biofuel production by integrating dedicated energy crops into agricultural fields. In the first chapter an innovative landscape design method based on subfield placement of an energy crop into row crop fields in central Iowa is used to reduce financial loss for farmers, increase and diversify biomass production, and improve soil resources. The second chapter explores how subfield management decisions may be made using high fidelity data and modeling to balance concerns of primary crop production and economics. This work provides critical forward looking support to agricultural land managers and stakeholders in the biomass and bioenergy industry for pathways to improving land stewardship and energy security.

  4. A comprehensive review of biomass resources and biofuels potential in Ghana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duku, Moses Hensley [School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, S017 1BJ (United Kingdom); Institute of Industrial Research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, P. Box LG 576, Legon (Ghana); Gu, Sai [School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, S017 1BJ (United Kingdom); Hagan, Essel Ben [Institute of Industrial Research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, P. Box LG 576, Legon (Ghana)

    2011-01-15

    Biomass is the major energy source in Ghana contributing about 64% of Ghana's primary energy supply. In this paper, an assessment of biomass resources and biofuels production potential in Ghana is given. The broad areas of energy crops, agricultural crop residues, forest products residues, urban wastes and animal wastes are included. Animal wastes are limited to those produced by domesticated livestock. Agricultural residues included those generated from sugarcane, maize, rice, cocoa, oil palm, coconut, sorghum and millet processing. The urban category is subdivided into municipal solid waste, food waste, sewage sludge or bio-solids and waste grease. The availability of these types of biomass, together with a brief description of possible biomass conversion routes, sustainability measures, and current research and development activities in Ghana is given. It is concluded that a large availability of biomass in Ghana gives a great potential for biofuels production from these biomass resources. (author)

  5. Crop residues for advanced biofuels workshop: A synposis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop residues are being harvested for a variety of purposes including their use as livestock feed and to produce advanced biofuels. Crop residue harvesting, by definition, reduces the potential annual carbon input to the soil from aboveground biomass but does not affect input from plant roots. The m...

  6. Electricity from biomass in the European Union - with or without biomass import

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skytte, K.; Meibom, P.; Henriksen, T.C.

    2006-01-01

    The European Union has set up indicative targets for its 15 Member States to supply 22.1% of their total electricity consumption using renewable energy resources by 2010. This paper compares two ways to achieve target compliance-either with import of biomass from countries outside the EU or without...... is that increased imports of low-cost biomass will significantly reduce the cost of target compliance, but would hamper the use of energy crops and further development of wind power within the EU. Despite this, increased importation of biomass can be the cost-reducing factor making the target realisable, which...... would justify promotion of such trade. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved....

  7. Health effects of biomass exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rastogi, S.K.; Husain, Tanveer

    1993-01-01

    Biomass fuels such as coal, wood, crop residues, kerosene oil and dung-cakes meet the energy needs in the household sector in India and other developing countries. Crop residues and dung-cakes are largely used in rural areas, whereas wood forms the major source of fuel in urban as well as rural areas. Combustion of these fuels produces various kinds of poisonous gases such as CO, smoke, nitrogen dioxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and respirable particulates. These gases are released in the domestic environment and they pollute the indoor air. The women and children are the one who suffer most from this air pollution. This results into a variety of health problems principally pertaining to respiratory system among the women and children. Studies on this aspect are reviewed. They point towards the positive relationship between biomass smoke and various health effects, particularly respiratory diseases. Need for research on the ways to prevent pollution due to biomass and resultant health hazards is emphasised. (M.G.B.). 25 refs., 2 tabs

  8. Determination of microbial protein in perennial ryegrass silage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Driehuis, F.; Wikselaar, van P.G.

    2001-01-01

    The microbial matter fraction was determined in perennial ryegrass silages of different dry-matter (DM) contents, ensiled with or without Lactobacillus plantarum. 15N-Leucine and the bacterial cell wall constituent diaminopimelic acid (DAPA) were used as markers for microbial-N. Perennial ryegrass

  9. Agricultural policies and biomass fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaim, S.; Hertzmark, D.

    The potentials for biomass energy derived from agricultural products are examined. The production of energy feedstocks from grains is discussed for the example of ethanol production from grain, with consideration given to the beverage process and the wet milling process for obtaining fuel ethanol from grains and sugars, the nonfeedstock costs and energy requirements for ethanol production, the potential net energy gain from ethanol fermentation, the effect of ethanol fuel production on supplies of protein, oils and feed and of ethanol coproducts, net ethanol costs, and alternatives to corn as an ethanol feedstock. Biomass fuel production from crop residues is then considered; the constraints of soil fertility on crop residue removal for energy production are reviewed, residue yields with conventional practices and with reduced tillage are determined, technologies for the direct conversion of cellulose to ethanol and methanol are described, and potential markets for the products of these processes are identified. Implications for agricultural policy of ethanol production from grain and fuel and chemical production from crop residues are also discussed.

  10. 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,

  11. Accelerating the commercialization of biomass energy generation within New York State

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Proakis, G.J. [New York State Technology Enterprise Corp., Rome, NY (United States); Vasselli, J.J. [Syracuse Research Corp., North Syracuse, NY (United States); Neuhauser, E. [Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., Syracuse, NY (United States); Volk, T.A. [State University of New York, Syracuse, NY (United States)

    1999-07-01

    A significant obstacle to establishing a commercially viable, self-sustaining willow biomass industry is the initial capital investment required to establish the crop. One approach to overcoming this challenge is an incentive program to reduce the initial capital investment costs for landowners. This study quantifies the start-up investment costs, economic development impact, and environmental pollution reduction benefits associated with the creation of a biomass energy industry in New York State. The study recommends the creation of a state-sponsored revolving loan fund that would be used by landowners to finance the cost of establishing willow biomass crops. (author)

  12. Seasonal response of biomass growth and allocation of a boreal bioenergy crop (Phalaris arundinacea L.) to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang Zhang

    2013-06-01

    The aim of this work was to analyse how the seasonal biomass growth and allocation in a boreal bioenergy crop (Phalaris arundinacea L., hereafter RCG) were affected by elevated temperature and CO{sub 2} under different levels of groundwater. For this purpose, plants in peat monoliths representing young and old cultivations were grown in auto-controlled environmental chambers over two growing seasons (April-September, 2009 and 2010) under elevated temperature (ambient + 3.5 deg C) and CO{sub 2} (700 {mu}mol mol{sup -1}). (CON: ambient conditions, EC: elevated CO{sub 2}, ET: elevated temperature, ETC: elevated temperature and CO{sub 2}). Three levels of groundwater, ranging from high (HW, 0 cm below the soil surface), to normal (NW, 20 cm below the soil surface) and low (LW, 40 cm below the soil surface), were used. Compared to growth under CON, ET enhanced leaf development and photosynthesis in the RCG plant. Consequently, ET enhanced biomass growth during early growing periods. It also reduced photosynthesis and caused earlier leaf senescence during later growing periods. ET therefore reduced total biomass growth across the entire growing season. EC significantly increased biomass growth throughout the growing period primarily because of increased leaf area and photosynthesis. LW decreased the growth of RCG, mainly because of lower leaf area and photosynthesis. Furthermore, LW accelerated the cessation of growth, thus making the growing season shorter compared with the effects of higher groundwater levels. The LW- induced reductions in biomass growth were exacerbated by ET and partially mitigated by EC. The ETC slightly increased final plant growth. The age of cultivation did not affect the biomass growth among the three major organs (leaf, stem and root) and thus did not affect total biomass growth. Biomass growth was mainly allocated to leaves (LMF) and stems (SMF) in the early growing season, to stems in the middle of the growing season and to roots (RMF) later

  13. 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

  14. The effects of energy grass plantations on biodiversity. 2nd annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Semere, T.; Slater, F.

    2004-07-01

    This report, which covers the year 2003 growing season, is the second annual report about a project to investigate the ecological impact on biodiversity of plantations of biomass grass crops grown in Hertfordshire in the UK. Wildlife monitoring was carried out at five field sites growing the perennial rhizomatous grass crops Miscanthus, reed canary grass and switch grass. The report covers the findings from wildlife surveys for the 2003 season, the final results from the invertebrate identification from the 2002 season, data entry from the 2002 and 2003 seasons, and the continued invertebrate identification during the 2003 season. Butterfly assessments and an evaluation of crop characteristics such as plant height, plant/stem density and biomass yield were also performed. Results are presented with respect to crop field characteristics, pests and diseases, ground flora, ground beetles, birds, small mammals, butterflies and epigeal invertebrates. Plans for the next growing season are outlined.

  15. Influence of Seeding Ratio, Planting Date, and Termination Date on Rye-Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Mixture Performance under Organic Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Andrew; Cogger, Craig; Bary, Andy; Fortuna, Ann-Marie

    2015-01-01

    Cover crop benefits include nitrogen accumulation and retention, weed suppression, organic matter maintenance, and reduced erosion. Organic farmers need region-specific information on winter cover crop performance to effectively integrate cover crops into their crop rotations. Our research objective was to compare cover crop seeding mixtures, planting dates, and termination dates on performance of rye (Secale cereale L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) monocultures and mixtures in the maritime Pacific Northwest USA. The study included four seed mixtures (100% hairy vetch, 25% rye-75% hairy vetch, 50% rye-50% hairy vetch, and 100% rye by seed weight), two planting dates, and two termination dates, using a split-split plot design with four replications over six years. Measurements included winter ground cover; stand composition; cover crop biomass, N concentration, and N uptake; and June soil NO3(-)-N. Rye planted in mid-September and terminated in late April averaged 5.1 Mg ha(-1) biomass, whereas mixtures averaged 4.1 Mg ha(-1) and hairy vetch 2.3 Mg ha(-1). Delaying planting by 2.5 weeks reduced average winter ground cover by 65%, biomass by 50%, and cover crop N accumulation by 40%. Similar reductions in biomass and N accumulation occurred for late March termination, compared with late April termination. Mixtures had less annual biomass variability than rye. Mixtures accumulated 103 kg ha(-1) N and had mean C:N ratio rye, 97 kg ha(-1) for the mixtures, and 119 kg ha(-1) for hairy vetch. Weeds comprised less of the mixtures biomass (20% weeds by weight at termination) compared with the monocultures (29%). Cover crop mixtures provided a balance between biomass accumulation and N concentration, more consistent biomass over the six-year study, and were more effective at reducing winter weeds compared with monocultures.

  16. Nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane emissions from irrigated cropping systems as influenced by legumes, manure and fertilizer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ellert, B.H.; Janzen, H.H. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB (Canada)

    2008-04-15

    Irrigated crops in Alberta require higher inputs of nitrogen (N) than rainfed crops. The aim of the study was to determine emissions of nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O) from the soils of irrigated cropping systems that used inorganic fertilizer N at a site in Alberta. The study measured carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) and methane (CH{sub 4}) levels in order to determine net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The exchange of gases between the atmosphere and soil in selected treatments was measured in order to compare the effects of contrasting N inputs. Fluxes were measured bi-weekly from spring 2001 to spring 2004. The time period included annual and perennial legume crops; the termination of a perennial forage crop; manure application; and 2 growing seasons of test crops. Soil surface fluxes were measured using PVC chambers equipped with thermocouples. Gas samples were measured using gas chromatography. A linear least squares method was used to calculate gas concentrations. Results showed that soil CO{sub 2} and N{sub 2}O production rates were intertwined after legume production or manure application, but decoupled during early spring bursts of N{sub 2}O production. Higher soil CO{sub 2} emissions with alfalfa and manure-amended soils suggested that soil oxygen consumption during high CO{sub 2} emission periods may promote N{sub 2}O emissions. Appreciable proportions of N{sub 2}O were emitted outside the growing season. Results suggested that N{sub 2}O leakage is an inevitable hazard of crop production. The study highlighted the importance of understanding and quantifying N{sub 2}O emissions from intensive cropping systems. 22 refs., 4 tabs., 6 figs.

  17. 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

    Full Text Available Aiming to improve the sustainability of biogas supply chains, the research for alternative feedstocks is a key issue and giant reed (Arundo donax L. is a promising no-food crop to be used in anaerobic digestion. In fact, giant reed is a perennial species characterised by low nutrient requirements and is able to provide promising biogas yields. Its suitability for anaerobic digestion is influenced by harvest time, since plant characteristics vary noticeably along the season. Moreover, ensiling is a storage technique that can assure a good preservation of the biomass over time, but also influence the methane yields. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the suitability for biogas production of giant reed silage, according to different cutting regimes, and to evaluate the efficiency in saving land and nitrogen for fuelling biogas plants, in comparison with maize and two sorghum varieties. Methane yields per hectare (Nm3 CH4 ha–1 were determined by multiplying the biochemical methane potential of each substrate by the aboveground biomass of the corresponding crop. The land use coefficient (LU, namely the land needed to fuel one kW power (ha kWe–1, was calculated from the estimated methane yields per hectare. Finally, nitrogen utilisation efficiency (NUtE, which is the ratio between the estimated methane yield and the nitrogen uptake per hectare (Nm3 CH4 kgN–1, was determined for each crop species and according to the harvest time and frequency of giant reed. Overall, a good suitability for ensiling was observed in giant reed. When harvested in September, the crop yielded about 9900 Nm3 CH4 ha–1, while in double harvest systems biomethane was about 12,000 Nm3 CH4 ha–1, +35% and +70% than maize and sorghum respectively. Moreover, giant reed under double harvest management was the most land-conservative option, as LU was about 0.22 ha kWe–1, while in annual crops it was about 0.35 ha kWe–1. The higher NUtE was observed in single

  18. Nitrogen Limitation Alters Biomass Production but Enhances Steviol Glycoside Concentration in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Barbet-Massin

    Full Text Available The need for medicinal and aromatic plants for industrial uses creates an opportunity for farmers to produce alternative crops. Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, a perennial shrub originating from Paraguay, is of increasing interest as a source of zero-calorie natural sweeteners: the steviol glycosides (SVglys. The aim of this study was to investigate the relevance of nitrogen (N supply for leaf yield and for SVgly concentrations in leaves, which are the two major components of S. rebaudiana productivity. In this regard, the relationship between leaf N concentration, CO2 assimilation, leaf production and SVgly accumulation was investigated. The experiments were conducted consecutively in growth-chamber (CC: controlled conditions, in greenhouse (SCC: semi-controlled conditions and in field conditions (FC on two genotypes. In CC and SCC, three levels of N fertilization were applied. Plants were grown on four locations in the FC experiment. Both N supply (CC and SCC and location (FC had a significant effect on N content in leaves. When light was not limiting (SCC and FC N content in leaves was positively correlated with CO2 assimilation rate and biomass accumulation. Irrespective of the growth conditions, N content in leaves was negatively correlated with SVgly content. However, increased SVgly content was correlated with a decreased ratio of rebaudioside A over stevioside. The evidence that the increased SVgly accumulation compensates for the negative effect on biomass production suggests that adequate SVgly productivity per plant may be achieved with relatively low fertilization.

  19. Nitrogen Limitation Alters Biomass Production but Enhances Steviol Glycoside Concentration in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbet-Massin, Claire; Giuliano, Simon; Alletto, Lionel; Daydé, Jean; Berger, Monique

    2015-01-01

    The need for medicinal and aromatic plants for industrial uses creates an opportunity for farmers to produce alternative crops. Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, a perennial shrub originating from Paraguay, is of increasing interest as a source of zero-calorie natural sweeteners: the steviol glycosides (SVglys). The aim of this study was to investigate the relevance of nitrogen (N) supply for leaf yield and for SVgly concentrations in leaves, which are the two major components of S. rebaudiana productivity. In this regard, the relationship between leaf N concentration, CO2 assimilation, leaf production and SVgly accumulation was investigated. The experiments were conducted consecutively in growth-chamber (CC: controlled conditions), in greenhouse (SCC: semi-controlled conditions) and in field conditions (FC) on two genotypes. In CC and SCC, three levels of N fertilization were applied. Plants were grown on four locations in the FC experiment. Both N supply (CC and SCC) and location (FC) had a significant effect on N content in leaves. When light was not limiting (SCC and FC) N content in leaves was positively correlated with CO2 assimilation rate and biomass accumulation. Irrespective of the growth conditions, N content in leaves was negatively correlated with SVgly content. However, increased SVgly content was correlated with a decreased ratio of rebaudioside A over stevioside. The evidence that the increased SVgly accumulation compensates for the negative effect on biomass production suggests that adequate SVgly productivity per plant may be achieved with relatively low fertilization. PMID:26192921

  20. Development Potentials and Policy Options of Biomass in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lei; Liu, Litao; Yao, Zhijun; Liu, Gang; Lucas, Mario

    2010-10-01

    Biomass, one of the most important renewable energies, is playing and will continue to play an important role in the future energy structure of the world. This article aims to analyze the position and role, assess the resource availability, discuss the geographic distribution, market scale and industry development, and present the policy options of biomass in China. The resource availability and geographical distribution of biomass byproducts are assessed in terms of crop residues, manure, forest and wood biomass byproducts, municipal waste and wastewater. The position of biomass use for power generation is just next to hydropower among types of renewable energy in China. The potential quantity of all biomass byproducts energy in 2004 is 3511 Mtce (Mtce is the abbreviation of million tons of coal equivalents and 1 Mtce is equal to106 tce.), while the acquirable quantity is 460 Mtce. Biomass energy plays a critical role in rural regions of China. The geographical distribution and quantity of biomass byproducts resources depends mainly on the relationship between ecological zones and climate conditions. Our estimation shows that the total quantity of crop residues, manure, forest and wood biomass byproducts, municipal waste and wastewater resources are 728, 3926, 2175, 155 and 48240 Mt (million tons), respectively. Crop residues come mainly from the provinces of Henan, Shandong, Heilongjiang, Jilin and Sichuan. All manure is mainly located in the provinces of Henan, Shandong, Sichuan, Hebei and Hunan. Forest and wood biomass byproducts are mainly produced in the provinces or autonomous regions of Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia, while most of municipal waste mainly comes from Guangdong, Shandong, Heilongjiang, Hubei and Jiangsu. Most of wastewater is largely discharged from advanced provinces like Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Henan. Biomass byproducts’ energy distribution also varies from province to province in China. Based on

  1. Development of Genomic and Genetic Tools for Foxtail Millet, and Use of These Tools in the Improvement of Biomass Production for Bioenergy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doust, Andrew, N.

    2011-11-11

    The overall aim of this research was to develop genomic and genetic tools in foxtail millet that will be useful in improving biomass production in bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, napier grass, and pearl millet. A variety of approaches have been implemented, and our lab has been primarily involved in genome analysis and quantitative genetic analysis. Our progress in these activities has been substantially helped by the genomic sequence of foxtail millet produced by the Joint Genome Institute (Bennetzen et al., in prep). In particular, the annotation and analysis of candidate genes for architecture, biomass production and flowering has led to new insights into the control of branching and flowering time, and has shown how closely related flowering time is to vegetative architectural development and biomass accumulation. The differences in genetic control identified at high and low density plantings have direct relevance to the breeding of bioenergy grasses that are tolerant of high planting densities. The developmental analyses have shown how plant architecture changes over time and may indicate which genes may best be manipulated at various times during development to obtain required biomass characteristics. This data contributes to the overall aim of significantly improving genetic and genomic tools in foxtail millet that can be directed to improvement of bioenergy grasses such as switchgrass, where it is important to maximize vegetative growth for greatest biomass production.

  2. Transport and supply logistics of biomass fuels: Vol. 1. Supply chain options for biomass fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allen, J; Browne, M; Palmer, H; Hunter, A; Boyd, J

    1996-10-01

    The study which forms part of a wider project funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, looks at the feasibility of generating electricity from biomass-fuelled power stations. Emphasis is placed on supply availabilty and transport consideration for biomass fuels such as wood wastes from forestry, short rotation coppice products, straw, miscanthus (an energy crop) and farm animal slurries. The study details the elements of the supply chain for each fuel from harvesting to delivery at the power station. The delivered cost of each fuel, the environmental impact of the biomass fuel supply and other relevant non-technical issues are addressed. (UK)

  3. Tradeoffs around crop residue biomass in smallholder crop-livestock systems - What's next?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tittonell, P.A.; Gérard, B.; Erenstein, O.

    2015-01-01

    Much has been written on the tradeoffs that smallholder farmers face when having to allocate their biomass resources among competing objectives such as feed, fuel, mulch, compost or the market. This paper summarises yet a new body of evidence from 10 studies on tradeoffs in the allocation of cereal

  4. Performance, Economics and Potential Impact of Perennial Rice PR23 Relative to Annual Rice Cultivars at Multiple Locations in Yunnan Province of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangfu Huang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Perennial grain crops hold the promise of stabilizing fragile lands, while contributing grain and grazing in mixed farming systems. Recently, perennial rice was reported to successfully survive, regrow, and yield across a diverse range of environments in Southern China and Laos, with perennial rice PR23 being identified as a prime candidate for release to farmers. This paper reports the evaluation of PR23 for release, by (1 comparing its survival, regrowth, performance, and adaptation with preferred annual rices across nine ecological regions in southern Yunnan Province of China; (2 examining the economic costs and benefits of perennial versus annual rice there; and (3 discussing the evidence for the release of PR23 as a broadly adapted and acceptable cultivar for farmers. Overall, the grain yield of PR23 was similar to those of the preferred annual rice cultivars RD23 and HXR7, but the economic analysis indicated substantial labour savings for farmers by growing the perennial instead of the annual. PR23 was comparable to the annuals in phenology, plant height, grain yield, and grain size, and was acceptable in grain and cooking quality. Farmers were keen to grow it because of reduced costs and especially savings in labour. PR23 is proposed for release to farmers because of its comparable grain yields to annual rices, its acceptable grain and milling quality, its cost and labour savings, and the likely benefits to soil stability and ecological sustainability, along with more flexible farming systems.

  5. The effect of active forms of silicon on the biomass of agricultural crops during their growth period on technogenically altered soils of the Nikopol Manganese Ore Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    І. V. Wagner

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The problem of recovery of technogenically affected soils remains unsolved. Silicon which moves in the “soil – plant” system has been insufficiently studied, though this element takes part in many processes. For assessing the role of silicon compounds, we selected samples of technogenically affected soils of different types in the territory of the research station for land reclamation of Dnіpro State Agrarian-Economic University in the Nikopol Manganese Ore Basin. We conducted a vegetative experiment and a series of laboratory tests with adding SiO2. We chose the following crops: buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench, 1794, vetch (Vicia sativa Linnaeus, 1753 and sunflower (Helianthus annuus Linnaeus, 1753. The рН of the studied soils fluctuated between 7.1 to 7.8. The content of available nitrogen and phosphorus in the soils was low, except the content of phosphorus in pedozems. We analyzed 240 samples of plants and measured their biomass. Vetch grew best on sod-lithogenous soils on forest-like lomy soils, buckwheat and sunflower – on sod-lithogenous soils on grey-green clays. The variant of experiment with 0.2% solution of SiO2 was most the efficient during growing all chosen crops on all types of studied soils. After adding amphoteric silicon, the best biomass indicators of vetch and buckwheat were observed on sod-lithogenous soils on forest-like loam, and indicators for sunflower – on sod-lithogenous soils on grey-green clays. After using 0.3% and 0.4% solution of SiO2, a gel film forms, which the seeds have no energy to penetrate and run out. Thus it slows the plant’s growth. An exception was an experiment with pedozems with adding 0.4% solution of SiO2, when the biomass of vetch was 1.5 times greater than in the experiment with 0.2% solution. We observed no similar positive effect in other variants of the experiment. All chosen crops on technogenically affected soils reacted to addition of silicon compounds by increasing

  6. Responses in chemical traits and biomass allocation of Arundo donax L. to deficit resources in the establishment year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Pompeiano

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A large expansion in renewable energy production is underway with an increasing focus on sustainable second-generation biofuels. Fast growing rhizomatous perennial grasses are leading candidates for lignocellulosic feedstock thanks to their positive energy balance, and low ecological/agro-management demands. Biomass accumulation is favored by the efficient use of available resources. The aim of this study was to identify which accumulation processes were most affected in the establishment year of a giant reed (Arundo donax L. field crop grown under water and N deficiencies. The relative plasticity of growth of A. donax in response to various levels of resource availability was evaluated. A field scale experiment was carried out, and treatments were arranged as a randomized complete block, strip-plot design with irrigation treatments as the main plot factor and pre-planting N rate as the sub-plot factor. Biometric relationships between variables were assessed to understand how agro-management factors influence the above ground biomass of giant reed, as well as yield over time. Evidence is presented indicating that growth is strongly enhanced by water availability (+97% dry weight biomass. Changes in composition were not significant within or among fixed treatments, rather changes were observed over time. A high content of glucans and xylans were detected from early stage, and as the mobilization of minerals increased, lignin content significantly increased as well (from 12% to 36% w/w. These results suggest that an increase in the growth of A. donax in the establishment year is accomplished by a limited use of the water input

  7. 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.

  8. Biomass in a sustainable energy system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boerjesson, Paal

    1998-04-01

    In this thesis, aspects of an increase in the utilization of biomass in the Swedish energy system are treated. Modern bioenergy systems should be based on high energy and land use efficiency since biomass resources and productive land are limited. The energy input, including transportation, per unit biomass produced is about 4-5% for logging residues, straw and short rotation forest (Salix). Salix has the highest net energy yield per hectare among the various energy crops cultivated in Sweden. The CO 2 emissions from the production and transportation of logging residues, straw and Salix, are equivalent to 2-3% of those from a complete fuel-cycle for coal. Substituting biomass for fossil fuels in electricity and heat production is, in general, less costly and leads to a greater CO 2 reduction per unit biomass than substituting biomass derived transportation fuels for petrol or diesel. Transportation fuels produced from cellulosic biomass provide larger and less expensive CO 2 emission reductions than transportation fuels from annual crops. Swedish CO 2 emissions could be reduced by about 50% from the present level if fossil fuels are replaced and the energy demand is unchanged. There is a good balance between potential regional production and utilization of biomass in Sweden. Future biomass transportation distances need not be longer than, on average, about 40 km. About 22 TWh electricity could be produced annually from biomass in large district heating systems by cogeneration. Cultivation of Salix and energy grass could be utilized to reduce the negative environmental impact of current agricultural practices, such as the emission of greenhouse gases, nutrient leaching, decreased soil fertility and erosion, and for the treatment of municipal waste and sludge, leading to increased recirculation of nutrients. About 20 TWh biomass could theoretically be produced per year at an average cost of less than 50% of current production cost, if the economic value of these

  9. Biomass in a sustainable energy system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boerjesson, Paal

    1998-04-01

    In this thesis, aspects of an increase in the utilization of biomass in the Swedish energy system are treated. Modern bioenergy systems should be based on high energy and land use efficiency since biomass resources and productive land are limited. The energy input, including transportation, per unit biomass produced is about 4-5% for logging residues, straw and short rotation forest (Salix). Salix has the highest net energy yield per hectare among the various energy crops cultivated in Sweden. The CO{sub 2} emissions from the production and transportation of logging residues, straw and Salix, are equivalent to 2-3% of those from a complete fuel-cycle for coal. Substituting biomass for fossil fuels in electricity and heat production is, in general, less costly and leads to a greater CO{sub 2} reduction per unit biomass than substituting biomass derived transportation fuels for petrol or diesel. Transportation fuels produced from cellulosic biomass provide larger and less expensive CO{sub 2} emission reductions than transportation fuels from annual crops. Swedish CO{sub 2} emissions could be reduced by about 50% from the present level if fossil fuels are replaced and the energy demand is unchanged. There is a good balance between potential regional production and utilization of biomass in Sweden. Future biomass transportation distances need not be longer than, on average, about 40 km. About 22 TWh electricity could be produced annually from biomass in large district heating systems by cogeneration. Cultivation of Salix and energy grass could be utilized to reduce the negative environmental impact of current agricultural practices, such as the emission of greenhouse gases, nutrient leaching, decreased soil fertility and erosion, and for the treatment of municipal waste and sludge, leading to increased recirculation of nutrients. About 20 TWh biomass could theoretically be produced per year at an average cost of less than 50% of current production cost, if the economic

  10. Effects of stored feed cropping systems and farm size on the profitability of Maine organic dairy farm simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshide, A K; Halloran, J M; Kersbergen, R J; Griffin, T S; DeFauw, S L; LaGasse, B J; Jain, S

    2011-11-01

    United States organic dairy production has increased to meet the growing demand for organic milk. Despite higher prices received for milk, organic dairy farmers have come under increasing financial stress due to increases in concentrated feed prices over the past few years, which can make up one-third of variable costs. Market demand for milk has also leveled in the last year, resulting in some downward pressure on prices paid to dairy farmers. Organic dairy farmers in the Northeast United States have experimented with growing different forage and grain crops to maximize on-farm production of protein and energy to improve profitability. Three representative organic feed systems were simulated using the integrated farm system model for farms with 30, 120, and 220 milk cows. Increasing intensity of equipment use was represented by organic dairy farms growing only perennial sod (low) to those with corn-based forage systems, which purchase supplemental grain (medium) or which produce and feed soybeans (high). The relative profitability of these 3 organic feed systems was strongly dependent on dairy farm size. From results, we suggest smaller organic dairy farms can be more profitable with perennial sod-based rather than corn-based forage systems due to lower fixed costs from using only equipment associated with perennial forage harvest and storage. The largest farm size was more profitable using a corn-based system due to greater economies of scale for growing soybeans, corn grain, winter cereals, and corn silages. At an intermediate farm size of 120 cows, corn-based forage systems were more profitable if perennial sod was not harvested at optimum quality, corn was grown on better soils, or if milk yield was 10% higher. Delayed harvest decreased the protein and energy content of perennial sod crops, requiring more purchased grain to balance the ration and resulting in lower profits. Corn-based systems were less affected by lower perennial forage quality, as corn silage

  11. Allelopathic cover crop prior to seeding is more important than subsequent grazing/mowing in grassland establishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milchunas, Daniel G.; Vandever, Mark W.; Ball, Leonard O.; Hyberg, Skip

    2011-01-01

    The effects of grazing, mowing, and type of cover crop were evaluated in a previous winter wheat–fallow cropland seeded to grassland under the Conservation Reserve Program in eastern Colorado. Prior to seeding, the fallow strips were planted to forage sorghum or wheat in alternating strips (cover crops), with no grazing, moderate to heavy grazing, and mowing (grazing treatments) superimposed 4 yr after planting and studied for 3 yr. Plots previously in wheat had more annual and exotic species than sorghum plots. Concomitantly, there were much greater abundances of perennial native grass and all native species in sorghum than wheat cropped areas. The competitive advantage gained by seeded species in sorghum plots resulted in large increases in rhizomatous western wheatgrass. Sorghum is known to be allelopathic and is used in crop agriculture rotations to suppress weeds and increase crop yields, consistent with the responses of weed and desired native species in this study. Grazing treatment had relatively minor effects on basal and canopy cover composition of annual or exotic species versus perennial native grass or native species. Although grazing treatment never was a significant main effect, it occasionally modified cover crop or year effects. Opportunistic grazing reduced exotic cheatgrass by year 3 but also decreased the native palatable western wheatgrass. Mowing was a less effective weed control practice than grazing. Vegetative basal cover and aboveground primary production varied primarily with year. Common management practices for revegetation/restoration currently use herbicides and mowing as weed control practices and restrict grazing in all stages of development. Results suggest that allelopathic cover crop selection and opportunistic grazing can be effective alternative grass establishment and weed control practices. Susceptibility, resistance, and interactions of weed and seeded species to allelopathic cover species/cultivars may be a fruitful area

  12. 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.

  13. Combined use of FORMOSAT-2 images with a crop model for biomass and water monitoring of permanent grassland in Mediterranean region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courault, D.; Hadria, R.; Ruget, F.; Olioso, A.; Duchemin, B.; Hagolle, O.; Dedieu, G.

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study is to propose methods to improve crop and water management in Mediterranean regions. At landscape scale, there is a spatial variability of agricultural practices, particularly for grasslands irrigated by flooding. These grasslands are harvested three times per year and produce high quality hay, but their productions decreased significantly during the last few years because of the water scarcity. It is therefore important to assess the real water requirement for crops in order to predict productions in the case of agricultural practice modifications. Until now, the spatial variability of agricultural practices was obtained through surveys from farmers, but this method was tedious to describe an entire region. Thus, the specific aim of the study is to develop and assess a new method based on a crop model for estimating water balance and crop yield constrained by products derived from optical remote sensing data with high spatio-temporal resolution. A methodology, based on the combined use of FORMOSAT-2 images and the STICS crop model, was developed to estimate production, evapotranspiration and drainage of irrigated grasslands in "the Crau" region in the South Eastern France. Numerous surveys and ground measurements were performed during an experiment conducted in 2006. Simple algorithms were developed to retrieve the dynamic of Leaf Area Index (LAI) for each plot and the main agricultural practices such as mowing and irrigation dates. These variables computed from remote sensing were then used to parameterize STICS, applied at region scale to estimate the spatial variability of water budget associated with the biomass productions. Results are displayed at the farm scale. Satisfactory results were obtained when compared to ground measurements. The method for the extrapolation to other regions or crops is discussed as regard to data available.

  14. Combined use of FORMOSAT-2 images with a crop model for biomass and water monitoring of permanent grassland in Mediterranean region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Courault

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to propose methods to improve crop and water management in Mediterranean regions. At landscape scale, there is a spatial variability of agricultural practices, particularly for grasslands irrigated by flooding. These grasslands are harvested three times per year and produce high quality hay, but their productions decreased significantly during the last few years because of the water scarcity. It is therefore important to assess the real water requirement for crops in order to predict productions in the case of agricultural practice modifications. Until now, the spatial variability of agricultural practices was obtained through surveys from farmers, but this method was tedious to describe an entire region. Thus, the specific aim of the study is to develop and assess a new method based on a crop model for estimating water balance and crop yield constrained by products derived from optical remote sensing data with high spatio-temporal resolution.

    A methodology, based on the combined use of FORMOSAT-2 images and the STICS crop model, was developed to estimate production, evapotranspiration and drainage of irrigated grasslands in "the Crau" region in the South Eastern France. Numerous surveys and ground measurements were performed during an experiment conducted in 2006. Simple algorithms were developed to retrieve the dynamic of Leaf Area Index (LAI for each plot and the main agricultural practices such as mowing and irrigation dates. These variables computed from remote sensing were then used to parameterize STICS, applied at region scale to estimate the spatial variability of water budget associated with the biomass productions. Results are displayed at the farm scale. Satisfactory results were obtained when compared to ground measurements. The method for the extrapolation to other regions or crops is discussed as regard to data available.

  15. Allometries for Widely Spaced Populus ssp. and Betula ssp. in Nurse Crop Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Stark

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Nurse crops of widely spaced pioneer trees are a silvicultural approach to protect the regeneration of frost sensitive target tree species. If overstorey nurse crops are harvested, they can provide additional short-term benefits through increased biomass production, e.g., for bioenergy. However, the intensification of biomass exports from forests might impact negatively on ecosystem nutrient pools. Thus, precise allometric biomass equations are required to quantify biomass and nutrient removals. Since an analysis of published allometric equations developed for typical, dense aspen or birch forests showed that the tree height-to-diameter ratio correlated positively and the proportion of branch biomass negatively with stand density, we developed new allometric biomass equations for widely spaced aspen and birch growing at 4 x 4 m spacing. These equations yielded a root mean squared error of 13% when predicting total aboveground woody biomass for our sample trees. In contrast, the corresponding root mean squared error produced by allometric biomass equations from the literature ranged between 17% to 106% of actual dry biomass. Our results show that specific allometric biomass equations are needed for widely spaced pioneer trees both for accurate estimates of biomass and the nutrients contained within.

  16. Economics of multifunctional biomass systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ignaciuk, A.

    2006-01-01

    Chapter 2 focuses on the competition between traditional agricultural production and growing demand for biomass plantations. The aim of this chapter is to investigate the effects of various energy policies, aimed at both reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and increasing the share of bioelectricity, on the production of biomass and agricultural commodities. A partial equilibrium model is developed to illustrate some of the potential impacts of these policies on greenhouse gas emissions, land reallocation and prices of food and electricity. A partial framework is used, because it provides a transparent and consistent structure and enables to concentrate on only the relevant economic sectors (agriculture, biomass, conventional electricity, and bioelectricity). In the model, GHG emissions depend on land use patterns and fossil fuel use. The innovative element of this model is that it integrates two distinct analyses, namely an analysis of substitution mechanisms between energy from biomass and from fossil fuels, and an analysis of the effects of changes in demand for biomass on land use and GHG emissions. Chapter 3 deals with the impact of climate policies on land use and land cover change and possible impacts on reestablishment of semi-natural areas, mainly forestry and willow plantations. The aim of this chapter is to investigate the impact of climate policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by means of promoting biomass and bioelectricity. In this context, the analysis is performed on how these policies might affect production of agricultural commodities and trade patterns of biomass and bioelectricity. To this purpose, an applied general equilibrium model (AGE) is developed with special attention to biomass and agricultural crops for a small open economy, with an Armington specification for international trade. Chapter 4 focuses on the multiproductivity issues of agriculture, biomass, and forestry sectors resulting in additional production inputs

  17. Quantitative Estimation of Above Ground Crop Biomass using Ground-based, Airborne and Spaceborne Low Frequency Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, C.; Watanabe, M.; Shimada, M.

    2016-12-01

    Estimation of crop biomass is one of the important challenges in environmental remote sensing related to agricultural as well as hydrological and meteorological applications. Usually passive optical data (photographs, spectral data) operating in the visible and near-infrared bands is used for such purposes. The virtue of optical remote sensing for yield estimation, however, is rather limited as the visible light can only provide information about the chemical characteristics of the canopy surface. Low frequency microwave signals with wavelength longer 20 cm have the potential to penetrate through the canopy and provide information about the whole vertical structure of vegetation from the top of the canopy down to the very soil surface. This phenomenon has been well known and exploited to detect targets under vegetation in the military radar application known as FOPEN (foliage penetration). With the availability of polarimetric interferometric SAR data the use PolInSAR techniques to retrieve vertical vegetation structures has become an attractive tool. However, PolInSAR is still highly experimental and suitable data is not yet widely available. In this study we focus on the use of operational dual-polarization L-band (1.27 GHz) SAR which is since the launch of Japan's Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS, 2006-2011) available worldwide. Since 2014 ALOS-2 continues to deliver such kind of partial polarimetric data for the entire land surface. In addition to these spaceborne data sets we use airborne L-band SAR data acquired by the Japanese Pi-SAR-L2 as well as ultra-wideband (UWB) ground based SAR data operating in the frequency range from 1-4 GHz. By exploiting the complex dual-polarization [C2] Covariance matrix information, the scattering contributions from the canopy can be well separated from the ground reflections allowing for the establishment of semi-empirical relationships between measured radar reflectivity and the amount of fresh-weight above

  18. Crop residue inventory estimates for Texas High Plains cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interest in the use of cotton crop by-products for the production of bio-fuels and value-added products is increasing. Research documenting the availability of cotton crop by-products after machine harvest is needed. The objectives of this work were to document the total biomass production for moder...

  19. Determination of Micronutrient Accumulation in Greenhouse Cucumber Crop Using a Modeling Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lino J. Ramírez-Pérez

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The control of micronutrient application in cucumber cultivation has great importance as they participate in many functions of metabolism. In addition, micronutrient application efficiency is fundamental to avoid periods of overconsumption or deficits in the crop. To determine micronutrient accumulation using a dynamic model, two cycles of Vitaly and Luxell cucumber crops were grown. During the development of the crop, micronutrient content (Fe, B, Mn, Cu, and Zn in the different organs of the cucumber plant was quantified. The model dynamically simulated the accumulation of biomass and micronutrients using climatic variables recorded inside the greenhouse as inputs. It was found that a decrease in photosynthetically active radiation and temperature significantly diminished the accumulation of biomass by the cucumber plants. On the other hand, the results demonstrated that the model efficiently simulated both the accumulation of biomass and micronutrients in a cucumber crop. The efficiency evaluation showed values higher than R2 > 0.95. This dynamic model can be useful to define adequate strategies for the management of cucumber cultivation in greenhouses as well as the application of micronutrients.

  20. Productivity and carbon footprint of perennial grass-forage legume intercropping strategies with high or low nitrogen fertilizer input

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Lachouani, Petra; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman

    2016-01-01

    with either a high or a low rate of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to evaluate the carbon footprint (global warming potential) of the grassland management including measured nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions after sward incorporation. Without applying any mineral N......A three-season field experiment was established and repeated twice with spring barley used as cover crop for different perennial grass-legume intercrops followed by a full year pasture cropping and winter wheat after sward incorporation. Two fertilization regimes were applied with plots fertilized...... carbon footprint. Thus, a reduction in N fertilizer application rates in the low input systems offsets increased N2O emissions after forage legume treatments compared to grass plots due to the N fertilizer production-related emissions. When including the subsequent wheat yield in the total aboveground...

  1. Biomass Biorefinery for the production of Polymers and Fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Oliver P. Peoples

    2008-05-05

    The conversion of biomass crops to fuel is receiving considerable attention as a means to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports and to meet future energy needs. Besides their use for fuel, biomass crops are an attractive vehicle for producing value added products such as biopolymers. Metabolix, Inc. of Cambridge proposes to develop methods for producing biodegradable polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in green tissue plants as well as utilizating residual plant biomass after polymer extraction for fuel generation to offset the energy required for polymer extraction. The primary plant target is switchgrass, and backup targets are alfalfa and tobacco. The combined polymer and fuel production from the transgenic biomass crops establishes a biorefinery that has the potential to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil imports for both the feedstocks and energy needed for plastic production. Concerns about the widespread use of transgenic crops and the grower’s ability to prevent the contamination of the surrounding environment with foreign genes will be addressed by incorporating and expanding on some of the latest plant biotechnology developed by the project partners of this proposal. This proposal also addresses extraction of PHAs from biomass, modification of PHAs so that they have suitable properties for large volume polymer applications, processing of the PHAs using conversion processes now practiced at large scale (e.g., to film, fiber, and molded parts), conversion of PHA polymers to chemical building blocks, and demonstration of the usefulness of PHAs in large volume applications. The biodegradability of PHAs can also help to reduce solid waste in our landfills. If successful, this program will reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil, as well as contribute jobs and revenue to the agricultural economy and reduce the overall emissions of carbon to the atmosphere.

  2. Thermogravimetry/mass spectrometry study of woody residues and an herbaceous biomass crop using PCA techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomez, C.J.; Velo, E.; Puigjaner, L. [Department of Chemical Engineering, ETSEIB, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Avinguda Diagonal 647, G2, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain); Meszaros, E.; Jakab, E. [Institute of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 17, Budapest 1525 (Hungary)

    2007-10-15

    The devolatilization behaviour of pine and beech wood from carpentry residuals and an herbaceous product from an energy plantation (artichoke thistle) was investigated by thermogravimetry/mass spectrometry (TG/MS). The effect of three pre-treatments, hot-water washing, ethanol extraction and their combination, was also studied. Principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to help in the evaluation of the large data set of results. The characteristics of the thermal decomposition of the herbaceous crop are considerably different from that of the woody biomass samples. The evolution profiles of some characteristic pyrolysis products revealed that the thermal behaviour of wood and thistle is still considerably different after the elimination of some of the inorganic ions and extractive compounds, although the macromolecular components of the samples decompose at similar temperatures. With the help of the PCA calculations, the effect of the different pre-treatments on the production of the main pyrolysis products was evidenced. (author)

  3. Seasonal versus perennial immunotherapy: evaluation after three years of treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz Lejarazu, D; Bernaola, G; Fernández, E; Audícana, M; Ventas, P; Martín, S; Fernández de Corres, L

    1993-01-01

    We have performed a comparative study to evaluate seasonal and perennial schedules after 3 years of immunotherapy. Sixty patients suffering from rhinitis and/or asthma due to grass pollen sensitization were randomly allocated to receive a semi-depot extract of Phleum pratense according to a perennial or seasonal schedule. The last year of the study, 14 patients were recruited as a control group without immunotherapy. The cumulative dose was 602 BU in the perennial group and 372 BU in the seasonal group. The frequency and severity of side-effects were similar and very low in both treated groups. The IgE level was significantly lower after perennial immunotherapy at the end of the first 2 years. A seasonal decrease in specific IgG levels was observed in patients who interrupted immunotherapy, while this was not observed in patients under the perennial schedule. Symptoms and medication scores did not show differences between groups. Nevertheless, we found a significant difference between treated patients and the control group.

  4. Accumulation of Elements in Salix and Other Species Used in Vegetation Filters with Focus on Wood Fuel Quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adler, Anneli

    2007-07-01

    Woody or herbaceous perennials used as vegetation filters for treatment of different types of wastes can be suitable for production of solid biofuels when their above ground harvestable biomass yield is sufficiently high and when biomass contains appropriate concentrations of minerals with regard to fuel combustion processes. The concentrations of nitrogen (N), potassium (K) and heavy metals (especially Zn and Cd) in fuel should be low and calcium (Ca) concentrations high to avoid technical problems and environmentally harmful emissions during combustion. Since soil supplementation with essential elements improves biomass yield, a conflict might arise between yield and quality aims. There are various possibilities to influence fuel quality during the growing phase of the life cycle of perennial biomass crops. This study assessed the suitability of two deciduous woody perennials (Salix and Populus) and two summer green herbaceous perennials (Phragmites and Urtica) for phytoremediation in terms of growth and nutrient allocation patterns. Salix and Populus proved suitable as vegetation filters when nutrients were available to plants in near-optimal proportions, but when unbalanced nutrient solutions (wastewater) were applied, stem biomass fraction was strongly reduced. Phragmites was more tolerant to wastewater treatment in terms of plant biomass production and nutrient allocation patterns, so if the N:P ratio of the wastewater is suboptimal, a vegetation filter using Phragmites could be considered. In further studies, a method was developed to determine the proportions of nutrient-rich bark in coppiced Salix, while heavy metal phytoextraction capacity was assessed in two Salix vegetation filters. The relevance of proportion of bark on wood fuel quality and element removal from vegetation filters was also investigated. The concentrations of the elements studied in harvestable Salix shoot biomass were higher, meaning lower wood fuel quality, in plantations where

  5. Field-based estimates of global warming potential in bioenergy systems of Hawaii: Crop choice and deficit irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C) stock are critical to the system-level bal...

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of Irrigating with Treated Oil and Gas Product Water on Crop Biomass and Soil Permeability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terry Brown; Jeffrey Morris; Patrick Richards; Joel Mason

    2010-09-30

    Demonstrating effective treatment technologies and beneficial uses for oil and gas produced water is essential for producers who must meet environmental standards and deal with high costs associated with produced water management. Proven, effective produced-water treatment technologies coupled with comprehensive data regarding blending ratios for productive long-term irrigation will improve the state-of-knowledge surrounding produced-water management. Effective produced-water management scenarios such as cost-effective treatment and irrigation will discourage discharge practices that result in legal battles between stakeholder entities. The goal of this work is to determine the optimal blending ratio required for irrigating crops with CBNG and conventional oil and gas produced water treated by ion exchange (IX), reverse osmosis (RO), or electro-dialysis reversal (EDR) in order to maintain the long term physical integrity of soils and to achieve normal crop production. The soils treated with CBNG produced water were characterized with significantly lower SAR values compared to those impacted with conventional oil and gas produced water. The CBNG produced water treated with RO at the 100% treatment level was significantly different from the untreated produced water, while the 25%, 50% and 75% water treatment levels were not significantly different from the untreated water. Conventional oil and gas produced water treated with EDR and RO showed comparable SAR results for the water treatment technologies. There was no significant difference between the 100% treated produced water and the control (river water). The EDR water treatment resulted with differences at each level of treatment, which were similar to RO treated conventional oil and gas water. The 100% treated water had SAR values significantly lower than the 75% and 50% treatments, which were similar (not significantly different). The results of the greenhouse irrigation study found the differences in biomass

  8. Comparative assessment of the phytomeliorative efficiency of perennial grasses on chernozems in the transural part of Bashkortostan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khasanova, R. F.; Suyundukov, Ya. T.; Suyundukova, M. B.

    2010-01-01

    The phytomeliorative efficiency of different groups of perennial herbs was studied. The agrophysical properties of soils under natural grasses (the feather grasses Stipa pennata, S. zalesskii, and S. Lessingiana; the fescue grass Festuca pseudovina; and quack grass), sawn herbs (awnless brome, crested wheat grass, purple alfalfa, the holy clover Onobrychis sibirica, the galega Galega orientalis, and yellow sweet clover), and cereal crops (winter rye and spring wheat) were compared. The formation of the aboveground and underground phytomass and the influence of phytomeliorative herbs on the aggregate state of leached, ordinary, and southern chernozems in the Transural part of Bashkortostan were analyzed.

  9. Influence of Seeding Ratio, Planting Date, and Termination Date on Rye-Hairy Vetch Cover Crop Mixture Performance under Organic Management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Lawson

    Full Text Available Cover crop benefits include nitrogen accumulation and retention, weed suppression, organic matter maintenance, and reduced erosion. Organic farmers need region-specific information on winter cover crop performance to effectively integrate cover crops into their crop rotations. Our research objective was to compare cover crop seeding mixtures, planting dates, and termination dates on performance of rye (Secale cereale L. and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth monocultures and mixtures in the maritime Pacific Northwest USA. The study included four seed mixtures (100% hairy vetch, 25% rye-75% hairy vetch, 50% rye-50% hairy vetch, and 100% rye by seed weight, two planting dates, and two termination dates, using a split-split plot design with four replications over six years. Measurements included winter ground cover; stand composition; cover crop biomass, N concentration, and N uptake; and June soil NO3(--N. Rye planted in mid-September and terminated in late April averaged 5.1 Mg ha(-1 biomass, whereas mixtures averaged 4.1 Mg ha(-1 and hairy vetch 2.3 Mg ha(-1. Delaying planting by 2.5 weeks reduced average winter ground cover by 65%, biomass by 50%, and cover crop N accumulation by 40%. Similar reductions in biomass and N accumulation occurred for late March termination, compared with late April termination. Mixtures had less annual biomass variability than rye. Mixtures accumulated 103 kg ha(-1 N and had mean C:N ratio <17:1 when planted in mid-September and terminated in late April. June soil NO3(--N (0 to 30 cm depth averaged 62 kg ha(-1 for rye, 97 kg ha(-1 for the mixtures, and 119 kg ha(-1 for hairy vetch. Weeds comprised less of the mixtures biomass (20% weeds by weight at termination compared with the monocultures (29%. Cover crop mixtures provided a balance between biomass accumulation and N concentration, more consistent biomass over the six-year study, and were more effective at reducing winter weeds compared with monocultures.

  10. Standing crops and ecology of aquatic invertebrates in agricultural drainwater ponds in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, N.H.; Jarvis, R.L.; Gilmer, D.S.

    1991-01-01

    We examined standing crops and ecology of aquatic invertebrates in agricultural drainwater evaporation ponds in California from October 1982 to March 1983 and September 1983 to March 1984. Evaporation ponds supported low diversities but high standing crops of aquatic invertebrates. A water boatman (Trichocorixa reticulata) and a midge (Tanypus grodhausi) were the most abundant invertebrates, constituting 44.9% and 51.4% of total macroinvertebrate biomass. Regression models indicated that of 6 environmental variables measured, only electrical conductivity (EC) and Julian date affected biomass and density of water boatmen. EC was the only significant correlate of midge biomass in evaporation ponds.

  11. Development of an applied black willow tree improvement program for biomass production in the south

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall J. Rousseau; Emile S. Gardiner; Theodor D. Leininger

    2012-01-01

    The development of rapidly growing biomass woody crops is imperative as the United States strives to meet renewable energy goals. The Department of Energy has indicated that biomass is a prime source for renewable energy for the southern United States. Black Willow (Salix nigra Marsh.) is a potential bioenergy/biofuels crop for dedicated short-...

  12. Performance evaluation of biomass sorghum in Hawaii and Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although biomass sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] has been identified as a high yielding bioenergy feedstock crop on the continental USA, there is lack of conclusive data on its performance in HI. The objective of this study was to (i) determine the adaptability and productivity of two biomass...

  13. Biomass plantations - energy farming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul, S.

    1981-02-01

    Mounting oil import bills in India are restricting her development programmes by forcing the cutting down of the import of other essential items. But the countries of the tropics have abundant sunlight and vast tracts of arable wastelands. Energy farming is proposed in the shape of energy plantations through forestry or energy cropping through agricultural media, to provide power fuels for transport and the industries and also to provide fuelwoods for the domestic sector. Short rotation cultivation is discussed and results are given of two main species that are being tried, ipil-ipil and Casuarina. Evaluations are made on the use of various crops such as sugar cane, cassava and kenaf as fuel crops together with hydrocarbon plants and aquatic biomass. (Refs. 20)

  14. Perennial grass management impacts on runoff and sediment export from vegetated channels in pulse flow runoff events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, H.M.; Cruse, R.M.; Burras, C.L.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of the United States Congress is to replace 30% of United States petroleum with biofuels by 2030. If this goal will be accomplished, it is estimated that 25-50% of the land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) have its biomass removed. However, the purpose of many conservation practices enrolled in CRP is to improve or maintain water quality and not to serve as a source of biomass. This study was conducted to determine if biomass removal has an effect on runoff and sediment export from vegetated channels during low intensity storms that occur frequently. In June 2006, 24 channels were created that measured 2 m x 10 m. The treatments of grass species (big bluestem, corn, smooth bromegrass, and switchgrass) and biomass removal (removed, not removed) were applied to the channels in a split-plot arrangement. Three times in 2007 and 3 more times in 2008, a 787 L load of water with suspended sediment was drained on the head and sides of each experimental unit and the entire load of water that ran off was collected, weighed, and sampled for sediment concentration. Biomass removal increased runoff and sediment by an average of 15% over the two years of the study. The channels planted to perennial C4 grasses were most effective at reducing runoff and sediment export, while the corn was consistently the least effective at reducing runoff and sediment export. (author)

  15. Perennial grass management impacts on runoff and sediment export from vegetated channels in pulse flow runoff events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, H.M. [Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Minnesota-Crookston, 2900 University Avenue, Crookston, MN 56716 (United States); Cruse, R.M.; Burras, C.L. [Agronomy Department, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010-1010 (United States)

    2011-01-15

    The goal of the United States Congress is to replace 30% of United States petroleum with biofuels by 2030. If this goal will be accomplished, it is estimated that 25-50% of the land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) have its biomass removed. However, the purpose of many conservation practices enrolled in CRP is to improve or maintain water quality and not to serve as a source of biomass. This study was conducted to determine if biomass removal has an effect on runoff and sediment export from vegetated channels during low intensity storms that occur frequently. In June 2006, 24 channels were created that measured 2 m x 10 m. The treatments of grass species (big bluestem, corn, smooth bromegrass, and switchgrass) and biomass removal (removed, not removed) were applied to the channels in a split-plot arrangement. Three times in 2007 and 3 more times in 2008, a 787 L load of water with suspended sediment was drained on the head and sides of each experimental unit and the entire load of water that ran off was collected, weighed, and sampled for sediment concentration. Biomass removal increased runoff and sediment by an average of 15% over the two years of the study. The channels planted to perennial C4 grasses were most effective at reducing runoff and sediment export, while the corn was consistently the least effective at reducing runoff and sediment export. (author)

  16. 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

  17. Radiation and nitrogen use in wheat and oilseed rape crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dreccer, M.F.

    1999-01-01

    Raising yield potential of crops with an efficient use of nutrients is imperative, given the prospects of increase in world population and the need to reduce environmental problems. Yield potential is proportional to the total biomass of a crop, which is highly responsive to nitrogen

  18. Crop and varietal diversification of rainfed rice based cropping systems for higher productivity and profitability in Eastern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lal, B; Gautam, Priyanka; Panda, B B; Raja, R; Singh, Teekam; Tripathi, R; Shahid, M; Nayak, A K

    2017-01-01

    Rice-rice system and rice fallows are no longer productive in Southeast Asia. Crop and varietal diversification of the rice based cropping systems may improve the productivity and profitability of the systems. Diversification is also a viable option to mitigate the risk of climate change. In Eastern India, farmers cultivate rice during rainy season (June-September) and land leftovers fallow after rice harvest in the post-rainy season (November-May) due to lack of sufficient rainfall or irrigation amenities. However, in lowland areas, sufficient residual soil moistures are available in rice fallow in the post-rainy season (November-March), which can be utilized for raising second crops in the region. Implementation of suitable crop/varietal diversification is thus very much vital to achieve this objective. To assess the yield performance of rice varieties under timely and late sown conditions and to evaluate the performance of dry season crops following them, three different duration rice cultivars were transplanted in July and August. In dry season several non-rice crops were sown in rice fallow to constitute a cropping system. The results revealed that tiller occurrence, biomass accumulation, dry matter remobilization, crop growth rate, and ultimately yield were significantly decreased under late transplanting. On an average, around 30% yield reduction obtained under late sowing may be due to low temperature stress and high rainfall at reproductive stages of the crop. Dry season crops following short duration rice cultivars performed better in terms of grain yield. In the dry season, toria was profitable when sown earlier and if sowing was delayed greengram was suitable. Highest system productivity and profitability under timely sown rice may be due to higher dry matter remobilization from source to sink. A significant correlation was observed between biomass production and grain yield. We infer that late transplanting decrease the tiller occurrence and assimilate

  19. 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.

  20. Biomass will grow as a chemical feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coombs, J

    1979-11-30

    This article discusses the possibility of biomass replacing a large fraction of oil use both as a fuel and a chemical feedstock. Problems arise from the low density, calorific value and diffuse nature of plant material which makes collection and processing expensive on both a financial and an energy cost basis. Two distinct sources of biomass are identified: (a) wastes and residues and (b) purpose grown crops. In the same way it is possible to distinguish thermal and biological conversion technologies. Finally, worldwide biomass energy programmes are reviewed.

  1. Rehabilitation of saline ecosystems through cultivation of salt tolerant plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdul, R.; Mahmood, K.

    2012-01-01

    In Pakistan, salt-affected regions have been drastically disturbed by unchecked activities of local populations. Removal of deep-rooted perennials and overgrazing destroy the native vegetation leading to rapid desertification. Shallow-rooted agricultural crops are grown on marginal soils on limited area that is not enough with respect to the spread of salinity problem. Sustainable restoration of these ecosystems requires a large scale integration of perennial plants (trees, shrubs and herbs) back in to farming systems. However, selenization processes continue because the available options for cultivation of perennial plants prove less profitable than agricultural crops. This study relates to resort the salt-affected lands for plant production and develop a technology for sustainable saline ecosystem. Plants, having salt tolerance potential, have been identified and introduced on salt-affected wastelands to develop a sustainable ecosystem with increased productivity. The biomass so produced can be used directly as forage, fuel, and even as food or feed. In addition, fish aquaculture, and some value-added products make this ecosystem more sustainable. This technology is practically demonstrated at Biosaline Research Station of Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Pakka Anna, Faisalabad, Pakistan. The marginally saline soils and wastelands ameliorated as a result of growing salt tolerant perennials can also be used for growing salt tolerant cultivars of conventional crops like wheat, barley and mustard. So, through proper management the saline ecosystem can become economical and profitable. (author)

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Regional biomass supply: three case studies in the Midwest, US

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    English, B.C.; Dillivan, K.D.; Ojo, M.A.; Alexander, R.R.; Graham, R.L. [Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN (United States)

    1995-06-01

    Increased interest in the development and utilization of alternative energy sources has generated research demonstrating that fuels developed from energy crops (biofuels) can be a viable substitute for fossil fuels. A national energy program dedicated to the advancement of fuel derived from lignocellulosic crops could have major impacts on conventional energy supplied in the United States. Sufficient biofuel demand would allow conversion of croplands, as well as some pasture and forest lands, into biomass producing lands and possibly return to production acres formerly idled. A shift from crop, pasture or forest production activities to biomass production would likely require changes in the levels of inputs, outputs, and costs associated with these activities, which would impact producers and ultimately consumers. The conversion of cropland or idled land to biomass production will also have impacts on the physical characteristics of the soil. Soil erosion levels, soil chemical composition, soil structure, and organic matter content are some of the many soil attributes which will be impacted as a result of conversion. Research is needed to estimate the impact conversion activities have on these variables.

  5. Sustainable Biofuels from Forests: Woody Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin H. White

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The use of woody biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts involves multiple sources of material that together create year round supplies. The main sources of woody biomass include residues from wood manufacturing industries, low value trees including logging slash in forests that are currently underutilized and dedicated short-rotation woody crops. Conceptually a ton of woody biomass feedstocks can replace a barrel of oil as the wood is processed (refined through a biorefinery. As oil is refined only part of the barrel is used for liquid fuel, e.g., gasoline, while much of the carbon in oil is refined into higher value chemical products-carbon in woody biomass can be refined into the same value-added products.

  6. Influence of leafy biomass transfer of agroforestry trees with nitrogen ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cultivation of leguminous tree crops and biomass transfer is the main possibility for soil enrichment with nutrients, especially with nitrogen and play alternative role as source of organic fertilizer. This study investigated the influence of leafy biomass transfer of Albizia lebbeck and Parkia biglobosa leguminous agroforestry ...

  7. EnerGEO biomass pilot

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tum, M.; Guenther, K.P.; McCallum, I.; Balkovic, J.; Khabarov, N.; Kindermann, G.; Leduc, S.; Biberacher, M.

    2013-01-01

    In the framework of the EU FP7 project EnerGEO (Earth Observations for Monitoring and Assessment of the Environmental Impact of Energy Use) sustainable energy potentials for forest and agricultural areas were estimated by applying three different model approaches. Firstly, the Biosphere Energy Transfer Hydrology (BETHY/DLR) model was applied to assess agricultural and forest biomass increases on a regional scale with the extension to grassland. Secondly, the EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) - a cropping systems simulation model - was used to estimate grain yields on a global scale and thirdly the Global Forest Model (G4M) was used to estimate global woody biomass harvests and stock. The general objective of the biomass pilot is to implement the observational capacity for using biomass as an important current and future energy resource. The scope of this work was to generate biomass energy potentials for locations on the globe and to validate these data. Therefore, the biomass pilot was focused to use historical and actual remote sensing data as input data for the models. For validation purposes, forest biomass maps for 1987 and 2002 for Germany (Bundeswaldinventur (BWI-2)) and 2001 and 2008 for Austria (Austrian Forest Inventory (AFI)) were prepared as reference. (orig.)

  8. EnerGEO biomass pilot

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tum, M.; Guenther, K.P. [German Aerospace Center (DLR), Wessling (Germany). German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD); McCallum, I.; Balkovic, J.; Khabarov, N.; Kindermann, G.; Leduc, S. [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg (Austria); Biberacher, M. [Research Studios Austria AG (RSA), Salzburg (Austria)

    2013-07-01

    In the framework of the EU FP7 project EnerGEO (Earth Observations for Monitoring and Assessment of the Environmental Impact of Energy Use) sustainable energy potentials for forest and agricultural areas were estimated by applying three different model approaches. Firstly, the Biosphere Energy Transfer Hydrology (BETHY/DLR) model was applied to assess agricultural and forest biomass increases on a regional scale with the extension to grassland. Secondly, the EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) - a cropping systems simulation model - was used to estimate grain yields on a global scale and thirdly the Global Forest Model (G4M) was used to estimate global woody biomass harvests and stock. The general objective of the biomass pilot is to implement the observational capacity for using biomass as an important current and future energy resource. The scope of this work was to generate biomass energy potentials for locations on the globe and to validate these data. Therefore, the biomass pilot was focused to use historical and actual remote sensing data as input data for the models. For validation purposes, forest biomass maps for 1987 and 2002 for Germany (Bundeswaldinventur (BWI-2)) and 2001 and 2008 for Austria (Austrian Forest Inventory (AFI)) were prepared as reference.