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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Integrated Crop, Soil, and Water Management Systems for Sustainable Production of Sugarcane for Bioenergy Feedstock

Location: Sugarcane Research Unit

Title: Energycane harvest date effects on biomass, sugar, and fiber yields

Authors
item White, Paul
item Viator, Ryan
item Webber, Charles
item Aita, Giovanna -

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 26, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Reliable and high yielding biomass feedstocks are a prerequisite to a viable bioenergy industry. Energycane, a sugarcane variety grown solely as a biomass feedstock, is an excellent candidate for the Southeastern U.S. The most recent commercially released energycane variety is ‘Ho 02-113.’ Our objective was to determine the yield and biomass characteristics of Ho 02-113 harvested across an 8 month time span from August through March 2012-2013. Stalks of Ho 02-113 were hand cut each month from two tests near Houma, LA, and analyzed for biomass, Brix (total soluble solids in juice, w/w), theoretically recoverable sucrose (TRS), and fiber content. Yield was estimated using a stalk population of 252,000 /ha. Biomass peaked at 155 Mg/ha in December 2012, and was lowest in August (118 Mg/ha). The average across the 8 month harvest period was 132 Mg/ha. Brix was lowest in August (70 g/kg) and increased each month until it reached a high of about 110 g/kg in November that lasted through March. TRS also was lowest in August (22 g sucrose /kg cane), indicative of immature stalks. TRS increased each month and peaked in February at 49 g/kg. However, TRS for Ho 02-113 was low when compared to the 2012 Louisiana commercial TRS average of 114 g/kg. Fiber content peaked in December-January at 360 g/kg which equaled about 56 Mg dry biomass /ha. Calorimeter tests revealed the energy content of the fiber to be 16.7 Gj/Mg. Energycane yield, Brix, TRS, and fiber content varied throughout the harvest season. The biomass processing strategy will determine the optimal harvest time for energycane; early fall (lower biomass, lower Brix values), late fall (high biomass, higher Brix), winter (highest biomass, highest fiber content), or early spring (high biomass, higher Brix).

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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