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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Implementation of Sustainable Bioenergy Production Systems
2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To develop and implement sustainable bioenergy feedstock production strategies and technologies at the field, farm, and watershed scale. This includes: (1) developing concept papers and plans for implementing the landscape vision for sustainable feedstock supplies, (2) sharing field, laboratory, and computer simulation data for finalizing, testing, and incorporating the crop residue management tool into appropriate technical guidelines to help ensure economic drivers and sustainability factors influencing bioenergy feedstock production are balanced, and (3) implementing and testing the landscape vision at multiple locations, in various layouts, and for multiple ecosystem services as resources become available.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This non-funded cooperative agreement formalizes on-going collaboration between the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment (NLAE), USDA-ARS Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory and other ARS research laboratories linked through the USDA-ARS Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP) team, the USDA Biomass Research Centers, and the Bioenergy Technology Division of the Idaho National Laboratory. Initial efforts will focus on producing a white paper outlining strategies and technologies needed to balance economic drivers and sustainability factors through the implementation of a landscape vision for sustainable feedstock production. The Corn Stover Tool developed in conjunction with the Sun Grant Corn Stover Regional Partnership team will be diversified to accommodate bioenergy feedstock materials other than corn stover. As resources become available, various strategies and technologies implementing sustainable bioenergy feedstock production will be tested at various locations throughout the U.S. The implementation studies will encompass not only production questions, but also soil, water, and air quality monitoring, evaluations of the Uniform Format Design and Deployable Process Demonstration Unit and other factors required for sustainable feedstock production, harvest, storage, and transport.


3.Progress Report:

This non-funded specific cooperative agreement facilitates collaboration between ARS-National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment (NLAE) scientists and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) engineers and scientists. One of the most important collaboration activities has been the development of the Corn Stover Tool which has now been renamed the “Landscape Economic Assessment Framework” or LEAF. This tool was nominated for an R&D 100 award which is considered to be the “Oscars of Innovation” in the research community. This agreement has also resulted in joint opportunities to transfer technology to various groups and is being used as a foundation for planning future collaborative research activities between the two Agencies.


Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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