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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Best Management Practices for Biomass Production in Oklahoma

Location: Rangeland and Pasture Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Develop best management practices (BMPs) for sustainable large-scale establishment and production of feedstocks. 2) Enhance diversity, productivity, and resiliency through development of mixed species bioenergy production systems.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Field-scale research plots will be established at Woodward, OK, to evaluate best warm-season grass establishment method and nitrogen requirements. Monocultures as well as mixed-cultures of grasses will be studied with commercial and legume nitrogen management methods.


3.Progress Report:

We evaluated warm-season grasses that had been established in 2010. The drought and high temperatures impeded crop growth and progress during the summer months (June through September). Among switchgrass, mixed grasses, and sorghum, high biomass was recorded with mixed grasses. Yield was highest at the southern locations (Stillwater, Chickasha, and Lane) compared with the northern location, i.e., Woodward. Similar to 2011, sorghum failed at the Woodward location due to continuation of drought. At other locations, sorghum produced higher yields than switchgrass in 2012, a reverse of trends from 2011. Based on Eddy flux data, switchgrass was a major carbon dioxide sink compared to sorghum, and also more water-use efficient with the 2012 weather conditions. This research will continue through 2014.


Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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