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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ESTIMATING SUSTAINABILITY OF CORN STOVER REMOVAL FOR BIOMASS ETHANOL PRODUCTION IN SELECTED CORN BELT SITES

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

2008 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1) Develop a summary of published and unpublished data on the impact of corn residue (stover) removal on future crop yield and soil quality.

2) Define and establish field experiment (specific to candidate locations for biomass ethanol plants) to assessing the impact of corn residue removal on future crop yield and soil quality.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Objective 1: ARS and Idaho National Lab (INL) will jointly prepare and publish an assessment of the impact of corn stover removal on future soil quality (SOC content and soil function) and crop productivity by summarizing literature, conducting new analysis of previously reported data and unpublished data from ARS experiments conducted in area of the Corn Belt identified by DOE as likely locations for the first biomass ethanol production facilities (biorefineries).

Objective 2: Plan, design, and implement long-term experiments to verify the analyses conducted and reported under Objective 1. These studies will be composed of new experiments or modified existing experiments, depending on location, factors under investigation, and historical and current data collection schedules and procedures.


3.Progress Report

The ARS, DOE Regional Partnership, and SUN Grant Initiative have cooperated to write protocols and establish replicated field trials at 14 sites in the U.S. to determine the impact of corn stover removal from the land on soil quality and crop production capacity. Plots were seeded in spring 2008. Uniform data sets on initial soil conditions were collected at all sites. Grain and stover yield will be determined al all sites as the crop achieves physiological maturity. Crop residue removal and other treatments will be applied after yields are determined. Meetings were held for all participants to discuss, and agree to, experimental protocol. Funds from the SUN Grant Initiative were distributed to both ARS and Regional Partners based on experimental objectives.

ADODR monitoring includes email correspondence, phone calls, and meetings,


Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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