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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 overarching goal of this research is to develop a unified modeling framework for assessing the dependability of biomass supplies for use in the production of biofuels for the Navy. These tools are being developed for use across Pacific Basin volcanic islands and globally which contributes to objective 1 of the in-house project 5320-21610-001-00D which this project was originally established under (expired in FY2011).

Excellent progress has been made in gathering parameterization data for the four key databases; weather, soils, crop parameters, and management, needed to run the ALMANAC (Agricultural Land Management with Numerical Assessment Criteria) model to evaluate best management practices (BMPs) that maximize biomass feedstock yields and associated environmental impacts. Information on the spatial and temporal variability of feedstock yields is also needed to ensure that enough biomass is produced to meet production demands. Weather – compiling of ALMANAC compatible annual weather data files for 18 HC&S stations has already been completed; Soils- ALMANAC uses the USDA NRCS SSURGO soils as input for the simulations.

Crop parameters- Considerable progress has been made in compiling crop parameters for sugarcane, energycane, and Napiergrass. These parameters are based on data collected from field trials established at HC&S and include; leaf area index (LAI), light extinction coefficient (Kc), maximum crop height and rooting depth, and nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium nutrient uptake.


Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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