1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this specific cooperative agreement is for the University utilizing a number of its departments to cooperate with ARS to provide economic and ecologically based science that will sustain farm operations producing biomass as feedstock for bio-based energy production. Included will be research to add value to the resulting co-products. The specific objective will be (1) to determine appropriate bio-energy crops for maximizing bio-fuel production capacity and (2) to develop economically feasible management systems that reduce input requirements for transitioning into and out of bio-energy crops.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Novel research addressing feedstock production systems will be conducted. Specifically trials will be initiated to measure adaptation and endurance of a multiple of potential feedstocks in comparison to Switchgrass. Included will be research evaluation conversion of the feedstock as bio-based energy sources. Initial plot areas will be at five University Centers and one ARS location.
Early work has been involved in design of research to be conducted and preparation of sites for planting of switchgrass plots and other associated grass species/cultivars in combination with alfalfa and grass/alfalfa mixtures. Additional plantings included switchgrass plots with various seeding rates and introducing new species such as giant miscanthus. ADODR monitoring includes meetings, conference calls, e-mail correspondence, and on-site visits.