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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Resource Assessment Framework for Dependable Feedstock Supply to Produce Advance Biofuels in Hawaii and Western United States (2012)
2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Improve current decision making capabilities by building robust data on current practices existing agricultural systems where biomass production could be incorporated (Temple, Parlier, Mandan, Riverside);.
2)Create management plans to optimize yield and stability of feedstock production (Temple, Palier, Mandan;.
3)Optimize biomass stability and yield while minimizing environmental impacts at greater than field scales (Temple, Parlier, Mandan); and.
4)Improve water and air resource management and optimize biomass production for other production areas in the Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Basin, and western United States (Temple, Parlier, Mandan, Hilo).


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Objective 1: Develop spatial and temporal data sets from historic data for baseline analyses. Objective 2: Simulate current management impacts on feedstock yields and resource inputs. Objective 3: Demonstrate applicability of simulation approaches with validated present practices and explore watershed scale impacts of changes. Objective 4: Improve decision support for assessment of resource conditions, and utilize parallel computing and deep hydrology water balance as needed.


3.Progress Report:

The overall approach of Objective 1 (i.e., simulate current management impacts on feedstock yields and resource inputs) is divided into four phases for Riverside’s portion, which is focused on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley (WSJV): (1) initial salinity assessment using an overlay approach of SSURGO data layers for the WSJV; (2) apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa) directed soil sampling for (a) ground truth of Phase 1, (b) detailed site characterization of Phase 3, and (c) calibration of Phase 4; (3) validation of feedstock crop production on marginally productive, salt-affected soils receiving degraded water; and (4) incorporation of remote imagery (MODIS) to refine land use assessment map. Phase 1 has been completed and Phase 2 is in the early stages. Land owners of fields identified from the initial land assessment completed in Phase 1 are in the process of being contacted for permission to conduct ECa-directed soil sampling surveys to provide ground truth (i.e., Phase 2a). Phase 2b is roughly 1/3 complete with an ECa-directed soil sampled survey completed and 50% of the detailed soil property characterization completed for one of two feedstock production sites (i.e., Diener Farm site).

The relationship of this subordinate project with the main in-house project is related to research for evaluating a multi-sensor platform (i.e., satellite imagery, RTK-GPS, and electromagnetic induction) for mapping salinity and related soil properties. The development of regional-scale salinity assessment methodology for the west side of the San Joaquin Valley from MODIS imagery, RTK-GPS, and electromagnetic induction will provide a practical avenue of evaluating a multi-sensor platform for the creation of soil salinity maps at field scales and larger spatial extents.

Monitoring of all progress is mainly through bi-weekly meetings of collaborating ARS scientists at Riverside and bi-monthly teleconference calls with collaborating ARS scientists at Parlier and Riverside. Overarching progress-update meetings are scheduled every 6 months between the Office of Naval Research, National Program Staff, and all western USA collaborating ARS scientists, with formal progress-update presentations given by each of the ARS locations (Riverside, Parlier, Mandan, Temple, and Hilo).


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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