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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ORGANIC AND REDUCED INPUT FRESH MARKET SPECIALTY CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS Title: Biomass, extracted liquid yields, sugar content or seed yields of biofuel feedstocks as affected by fertilizer

Authors
item Russo, Vincent
item Fish, Wayne

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 16, 2011
Publication Date: December 13, 2011
Citation: Russo, V.M., Fish, W.W. 2012. Biomass, extracted liquid yields, sugar content or seed yields of biofuel feedstocks as affected by fertilizer. Industrial Crops and Products. 36:555-559.

Interpretive Summary: One of the most important inputs in crop production is fertilizer. The correct amount of fertilizer is needed to support balanced growth of plants. Products from plants for conversion into renewable resources is increasing. It is necessary that nutrient requirements be determined for these crops, especially in regions where biofuel feedstock have not been grown historically. Varieties and cultivars of Sunflower; sweet and grain (milo) sorghums, and sweet corn, were provided the recommended and twice the recommended rate of fertilizer. Biomass, expressed liquid volumes and sugar contents of sweet sorghum and sweet corn were determined. Grain yields of milo and sunflower and oil content of sunflower were determined. Year and variety/cultivar had more effect than did fertilizer. Seed yield in sunflower was affected by fertilizer rate but results were not consistent between years or varieties, and below expected levels. Sweet sorghum biomass and sugar content were within expected ranges; as were milo grain yields. Sweet corn stalk sugar levels were below what is expected from field corn (maize). The data indicate that producers need not apply supplemental fertilizer in production of these crops.

Technical Abstract: Harvesting products from plants for conversion into renewable resources is increasing in importance. Determination of nutrition requirements for the applicable crops is necessary, especially in regions where the biofuel feedstock crops have not been grown historically. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), two hybrids and one variety; sweet and grain (milo) sorghums (both Sorghum bicolor L.), one variety each, and sweet corn (Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.), four cultivars, were provided the recommended rate and twice the recommended rate of fertilizer. Biomass, expressed liquid volumes and sugar contents of sweet sorghum and sweet corn were determined. Grain yields of milo and sunflower and oil content of sunflower were determined. Year and cultivar had more effect on results than did fertilizer. Seed yield in Sunflower, which was below expected levels, was affected by fertilizer rate but results were not consistent between years or varieties. Sweet sorghum biomass and sugar content were within expected ranges; as were milo grain yields. Sweet corn stalk sugar levels were below what is expected from field corn (maize). There does not appear to be a reason to provide supplemental fertilizer in production of these crops.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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