DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF BIOMASS CROPPING MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING OF ENERGY PRODUCTION FEEDSTOCKS
Soil Management Research
2010 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To provide biomass suppliers with accurate guidelines for management of biomass removal and maintenance of soil quality.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Develop regionally applicable biomass feedstock harvest guidelines based on empirical and model analysis utilizing and enhancing available models; validate guidelines and recommendations through on-farm research trials; conduct regional sustainable biomass harvest round-table sessions with producers; characterize biomass feedstock and ash; assess impact of ash on plant growth and soil properties.
The overall goal of this project is to develop the data and tools necessary to assess long-term agronomic sustainability of removing corn stover residue for energy production, and is directly related to Objective 1c of the parent project: Evaluate the soil and economic impacts of integrating corn stover harvest (for biofuel) into corn-soybean rotations. The first set of on-farm plant samples were collected in the fall of 2009. Manual stover samples were collected from a 2-meter (~10 foot) section prior to mechanical harvest. A second manual sample was taken after harvest to measure the amount of stover remaining. A custom combine capable of harvesting grain, cobs and/or stover in one-pass was used. Baseline analysis for physical (bulk density) and chemical properties (pH, nutrients and soil carbon fractions) on these samples has been completed. The plant materials collected in the fall have been digested for content of numerous elements. Chloride extracts are complete. The total C and N on the plant material harvested from two on-farm sites has been completed. The ADODR participated in regular project meetings, and makes additional email and phone calls to scientific and farmer collaborators. Quarterly reports were prepared and submitted in a timely manner. This project is related to objective 1a of the multilocation project 5440-12210-009-00L - Impact of Residue Removal for Biofuel Production – Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP): Determine the amount of crop residues (e.g., corn stover, cover crop) that must remain on the land to maintain soil organic carbon and sustain production.